In re the Marriage of: WILLIAM N. LUNDY, JR., Petitioner/Appellee,
COLLEEN S. LUNDY, Respondent/Appellant.
from the Superior Court in Yavapai County No.
V1300DO820030110 The Honorable Richard D. Lambert, Judge Pro
Watkins & Diesel PLLC, Flagstaff By Zachary J. Markham,
Staci Lynn Foulks Counsel for Petitioner/Appellee
Berkshire Law Office PLLC, Phoenix By Keith Berkshire,
Maxwell Mahoney Counsel for Respondent/Appellant
Peter B. Swann delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Presiding Judge Patricia A. Orozco (retired) and Chief Judge
Michael J. Brown joined.
Colleen S. Lundy ("Mother") appeals the superior
court's modification of William N. Lundy, Jr.'s
("Father['s]") child support obligation. We
conclude that the court erroneously attributed income to
Mother from a second job, and erroneously credited Father for
the full amount paid on an insurance policy covering both the
minor children and other dependents. We therefore vacate the
modification order and remand for further proceedings. We
further hold that the court erred by awarding attorney's
fees to Father in the absence of a written request for fees.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In 2004, Father and Mother, the parents of three then-minor
children, entered a consent decree dissolving their marriage.
The decree ordered Father to pay monthly child support and
provide medical and dental insurance for the children.
In 2014, Father filed a petition to modify his child support
obligation. He argued that modification was warranted because
the parties' incomes had changed and their oldest child
had turned 18 years old.
After holding an evidentiary hearing in July 2015, the
superior court granted Father's petition and modified his
child support obligation from $1, 354.41 per month to $500
per month. In calculating the new amount, the court
attributed to Mother income from two jobs. The court also
credited Father for the full amount he paid to provide health
insurance coverage for the three children and his wife,
relying on testimony that Father's cost to purchase
dependency coverage would remain the same regardless of the
number of dependents added to the policy. Finally, the court
awarded Father approximately $5, 000 in attorney's fees
under A.R.S. § 25-324.
SUPERIOR COURT ERRONEOUSLY CALCULATED FATHER'S NEW CHILD
After the consent decree was entered, the parties' oldest
child reached the age of majority and graduated high school.
That fact alone provided sufficient grounds for the court to
revisit the issue of child support. See A.R.S.
§§ 25-501(A), -503(E). We conclude, however, that
several legal errors contributed to the calculation of the