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Ciampa v. Ciampa

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

August 16, 2013

Peter R. CIAMPA, Appellant
v.
Cynthia L. CIAMPA, Appellee.

Discretionary Review Denied by Supreme Court Dec. 11, 2013.

Page 98

Tiffany Gabehart Poindexter, Paducah, KY, for appellant.

John T. Reed, Paducah, KY, for appellee.

Before CLAYTON, COMBS, and MAZE, Judges.

OPINION

CLAYTON, Judge:

Peter R. Ciampa appeals from the December 17, 2012, McCracken Family Court order, which made additional findings of fact regarding its October 17, 2012 findings and child support order, but denied the remainder of the motion to alter, amend, or vacate its earlier decision. Instead, the family court maintained its order requiring Peter to provide $5,800 per month in child support. After careful review, we affirm.

FACTS

Peter R. Ciampa and Cynthia L. Ciampa (hereinafter " Cindy" ) were married in 1988. Three daughters were born of the marriage. In November 2005, they separated and filed for dissolution of the marriage. A decree of dissolution was granted on December 4, 2006. On March 31, 2008, the family court entered supplemental findings of fact and decree, which incorporated a partial separation agreement and property settlement, crafted by the parties on March 24, 2008, following a mediation conference.

This issue on appeal is child support. The pertinent history of child support begins with the previously-mentioned property settlement agreement. Therein, Peter agreed to provide Cindy with $6,000 per month in child support for their three daughters. Next, in June 2010, when the parties' oldest daughter turned 18, Cindy made a motion, which among other things, included a request for modification of child support. The family court held a hearing on the various issues including child support. An order was entered on July 6, 2010, wherein the family court made extensive findings regarding reasonable living expenses for the remaining two minor children and ordered that Peter's monthly

Page 99

child support payment remain at $6,000 per month.

Next, in June 2012, Peter moved for a modification of child support because the second daughter would turn eighteen in July 2012, and he would only be responsible for child support for one child. A hearing was held on October 8, 2012. Subsequently, the family court entered findings of fact and an order modifying child support on October 17, 2012. This order reduced the child support monthly payment from $6,000 to $5,800.

Thereafter, Peter made a motion to alter, amend, or vacate, or in the alternative, make more specific findings. On December 17, 2012, after a hearing on the motion, the family court made additional findings but denied the request to reduce the amount of its original, monthly child support. Peter now appeals from this order.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Kentucky trial courts have been given broad discretion in considering a parent's assets and setting correspondingly appropriate child support. Redmon v. Redmon, 823 S.W.2d 463 (Ky.App.1992). As long as the family court's discretion comports with the guidelines, or any deviation is adequately justified in writing, this Court will not disturb the trial court's ruling in this regard. Commonwealth, ex rel. Marshall v. Marshall, 15 S.W.3d 396, 400-01 (Ky.App.2000).

A family court's discretion, however, is not unlimited. The test for abuse of discretion is whether the trial judge's decision was arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, or unsupported by sound legal principles. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. v. Thompson, 11 S.W.3d 575, 581 (Ky.2000); Commonwealth v. English, 993 ...


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