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Wilson v. Inglis

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

July 6, 2018



          BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Steven R. Dowell Owensboro, Kentucky.

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Staci Inglis, pro se Beaver Dam, Kentucky.



          DIXON, JUDGE.

         Appellant, Travis Wilson, appeals from an order of the Ohio Family Court granting the motion of Appellee, Stacy Inglis, to modify child support and ordering him to pay $4, 000 per month in support. For the reasons set forth herein, we vacate the family court's order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         The parties herein are the biological parents of a minor son, B.K.R., born in 2003. The parties were never married, nor have they ever cohabitated. Wilson is a dentist and also has other business interests in Beaver Dam and Owensboro, Kentucky. Inglis once worked for Wilson as a dental hygienist. In 2005, Wilson admitted paternity in a petition seeking custody of B.K.R. The parties ultimately entered into an agreement wherein they assumed joint custody of B.K.R. and Wilson agreed to pay Inglis $867.00 per month in child support.

         In February 2014, Inglis filed a motion to modify child support. Shortly thereafter, Wilson agreed to increase his support obligation to $1, 257 a month. Nevertheless, on May 11, 2015, the family court held an evidentiary hearing on Inglis's motion. Therein, Inglis testified that she and B.K.R., then eleven years old, lived with her two children from a previous relationship as well as her fiancé. At that time, she was employed as a dental assistant, working approximately twenty hours per week. In addition, Inglis worked approximately five hours a week supplying magazines to Walmart stores. Inglis then presented a list of B.K.R.'s alleged needs at that time. Such included additional monies for food and activities; funds to participate in various sports and travel teams; a bigger house with his own bedroom, bathroom, study room and game room; a basketball pad; a pool; a dog; and fenced back yard. Inglis stated that she had recently purchased a vehicle but desired a newer, more reliable model so that she could safely transport B.K.R. to his various activities. Inglis did not provide any details as to the actual costs of any items she believed should be included in B.K.R.'s reasonable needs, only stating that she believed he deserved to "have more." On cross-examination, Inglis conceded that neither her twenty-year-old unemployed son nor her fiancé financially contributed to the household expenses.

         During the hearing, Wilson testified that his adjusted gross income for 2014 was $630, 036.00. Said income was derived from his dental practice, rental income, farming, and other business interests. However, Wilson claimed he owed $4.5 million in debt. Wilson stated that he paid $1, 600 per month in child support for his two other children in addition to what he paid Inglis for B.K.R.'s support. Wilson additionally paid B.K.R.'s monthly insurance payment in the amount of $250 as well as ninety percent of any medical co-pay. Wilson claimed that he had paid various athletic expenses for B.K.R. as well as had purchased clothing and other items for him.

         At the close of the hearing, the family court expressed concern that it had not heard proof as to B.K.R.'s actual reasonable needs and costs associated therewith. Nevertheless, the family court, noting that child support had not been increased in over ten years with the exception of Wilson's agreement to raise it to $1, 257 a few months before the hearing, ruled that an increase was appropriate to cover additional expenses of B.K.R. Accordingly, the family court ordered that child support should be increased beyond the child support guidelines to $1, 600 a month because of the parties' disparate incomes, Inglis's testimony regarding the need for a reading tutor, and the fact that B.K.R. was getting older and wanting to participate in more sporting activities. On July 17, 2015, the trial court entered an order reflecting its oral rulings from the bench.

         On November 22, 2016, Inglis filed a pro se motion to again modify child support. Therein, she stated:

I have researched the actual amount of expenses more extensively than I did for the previous modification hearing. The amount of child support no longer adequately supports the child due to the child's age and necessities of living. I ask the court to revise child support to $4, 365.00 per month to support B.K.R.'s needs.

         In addition, Inglis listed the following as B.K.R.'s reasonable needs:

a. Housing - $1, 000 per month
b. Nutritious food - $600 per month
c. Dependable vehicle - $500 per month
d. Vehicle maintenance - $150 per month
e. Proper insurance for car - $200 ...

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