FROM OHIO CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE PHILLIP PATTON, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 05-CI-00003
FOR APPELLANT: Steven R. Dowell Owensboro, Kentucky.
FOR APPELLEE: Staci Inglis, pro se Beaver Dam, Kentucky.
BEFORE: DIXON, D. LAMBERT AND SMALLWOOD, JUDGES.
OPINION VACATING AND REMANDING
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
addition, Inglis listed the following as B.K.R.'s
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 ...