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Taku v. Hausman

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

November 5, 2014

GEORGE TAKU APPELLANT
v.
MEGAN SUZANNE HAUSMAN APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT [NO. DR-09-85] HONORABLE BRENT DAVIS, JUDGE

Sheila F. Campbell, P.A., by: Sheila F. Campbell, for appellant.

Bristow & Richardson, P.L.L.C., by: Benjamin W. Bristow, for appellee.

DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge

Appellant George Taku contends that the Craighead County Circuit Court erred in determining the proper amount of retroactive child support he was required to pay and in failing to admit additional evidence after a January 2013 hearing. We affirm the trial court's order.

Background

Taku and appellee Megan Hausman were never married, but they had two daughters, AHT, born June 16, 2006, and LHT, born December 18, 2008. In January 2009, Taku filed a petition to establish paternity and for visitation; Hausman counterclaimed for child support and lying-in expenses. In November 2009, the circuit court entered an order finding Taku to be the father of the children, granting Hausman custody with Taku receiving visitation, and ordering Taku to pay lying-in expenses of $2, 890.47 and $1, 500 in attorney fees to Hausman. Taku was ordered to pay $25 per week in child support in accordance with the Family Support Chart, and the circuit court also granted judgment to Hausman for child-support arrearages in the amount of $4, 250 dating back to AHT's birth.

The parties had a third child, son KHT, on April 16, 2011. In June 2012, Taku filed a petition to establish paternity, and for custody, visitation, and child support. Hausman counterclaimed for, among other things, child support retroactive to KHT's birth and an increase in child support due to KHT's birth and Taku's increased income.

At a July 31, 2012 hearing, the parties stipulated that Taku was KHT's father, that Hausman should have custody of KHT, and that Taku would have visitation. The parties also stipulated that the amount of Taku's child support would be based on a semi-monthly income of $1, 739.22; that his child support for three children would be $469 semi-monthly; and that he was also to make semi-monthly payments of $93.80 on his child-support arrearage. Both Taku and Hausman told the trial court that they understood the terms of the agreement. In an order filed on September 20, 2012, the trial court established paternity of KHT, granted custody of KHT to Hausman, and set forth Taku's visitation. Additionally, the trial court found, with regard to child support,

10. Based upon Plaintiff's net take home pay of $1, 739.22 semi-monthly, Plaintiff is hereby ordered to pay child support for the benefit of the minor children in the amount of $469.00 semi-monthly. This amount is in accordance with the Family Support Chart and said support shall be paid via wage withholding. In addition hereto, Plaintiff shall be ordered to pay twenty percent (20%) of each child support amount ($93.80) semimonthly to be applied to the previously adjudged child support arrearage. As such, Plaintiff is ordered to pay a total of $562.80 semi-monthly in child support and child support arrearages.

The parties agreed that all issues and matters alleged and relief requested in Hausman's counterpetition for contempt and other relief were specifically reserved until further hearing by the trial court.

A hearing was held on January 23, 2013, regarding the issues contained in Hausman's counterpetition. At that hearing, with regard to the issue of child support, the parties again stipulated that Taku had a semi-monthly take-home pay of $1, 739.22 that translated into semimonthly child-support payments of $469 for three children. In the trial court's ruling, it granted child support retroactively to KHT's birth in April 2011; Taku made no objection. The trial court found that all support payments already made by Taku would be credited to him and deducted from the amount of support due, and any arrearages would be added to the previous determined arrearages. The child-support payments already made by Taku were calculated using the payment history report from the Arkansas Child Support tracking system that Hausman introduced into evidence at the January 2013 hearing. Taku made no objection to this determination either.

An order reflecting the findings from the January 2013 hearing was not entered until September 17, 2013. In that order, the trial court found with regard to child support:

12. Plaintiff is hereby ordered to pay child support to the Defendant for the benefit of the minor children in the amount of $469.00 semi-monthly. This amount is commensurate with the Child Support Chart and plaintiff's net take home pay based upon three children. This amount shall be paid via wage withholding. In addition hereto, Plaintiff shall be ordered to pay twenty percent (20%) of each child support payment amount ($93.80) semi-monthly to be applied to the previously adjudged child support arrearage and the additional child support ...

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