Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C
In re the Matter of: DAVID A. WHITE, Petitioner/Appellant,
KELLY S. WHITE, Respondent/Appellee, and STATE OF ARIZONA, ex rel. THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, Intervenor/Appellee.
Not for Publication – Rule 28, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. FC2003-091262 The Honorable Boyd W. Dunn, Judge
David A. White Petitioner/Appellant In Propria Persona
Kelly S. White Respondent/Appellee In Propria Persona
Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General, Carol A. Salvati, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Intervenor/Appellee
MICHAEL J. BROWN, Judge.
¶1 David A. White ("Father") appeals from the superior court's judgment denying his request for sole custody, reducing his parenting time, and ordering payment of child support. For reasons that follow, we affirm the parenting time modification but vacate the custody and child support rulings and remand for further proceedings.
¶2 Father and Kelly S. White ("Mother") shared joint legal and physical custody of their minor child pursuant to a 2003 consent dissolution decree. The decree did not order either party to pay child support. Although the decree included a parenting time schedule, the parties informally agreed to a different arrangement—the child would spend weekends with Father from Thursday or Friday after school until Sunday or Monday before school, and would be with Mother at all other times.
¶3 In 2011, Mother filed a petition to modify custody, parenting time, and child support. As changed circumstances, Mother cited the child's school schedule, an alleged difference in Father's financial circumstances, and Father's change in residence to a location farther from Mother's home. Mother also sought sole legal custody and child support. Father requested that the parties be ordered to mediate, but alternatively he sought sole legal custody with reasonable parenting time for Mother.
¶4 Several years prior to Mother's petition to modify, this case was referred to the Department of Economic Security's Child Support Enforcement division ("the State"). Therefore, in response to Mother's petition to modify, the State asked that the superior court refer issues of child support to a Title IV-D commissioner. See A.R.S. § 25-509. At the hearing on Mother's petition to modify, the court referred the child support issues to a Title IV-D commissioner and told the parties it would not hear evidence relating to child support.
¶5 The superior court affirmed the joint legal custody order previously in place, but ordered Father to have parenting time every other weekend from Friday after school until Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and Wednesdays after school until 7:00 p.m. Additionally, the court entered a child support award against Father. Father filed a motion for new trial, arguing that child support should have been referred to a Title IV-D commissioner and seeking clarification of the court's child support calculations. The court decreased the amount of the child support ordered but denied the motion as to the other issues. Father timely appealed, and we have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. section 12-2101(A)(2) and (5)(a) .