Gould v. Alderin, 22-0874

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtCHICCHELLY, JUDGE.
PartiesTYLER M. GOULD, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. WENDY L. ALDERIN, Defendant-Appellant
Docket Number22-0874
Decision Date17 November 2022

TYLER M. GOULD, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.

WENDY L. ALDERIN, Defendant-Appellant

No. 22-0874

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 17, 2022


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve, Judge.

A mother appeals the district court decision sending the parties' child to school in the father's school district. AFFIRMED.

Ryan M. Beckenbaugh of Beckenbaugh Law P.C., Davenport, for appellant.

Robert S. Gallagher of Gallagher, Millage &Gallagher, P.L.C., Bettendorf, for appellee.

Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Schumacher and Chicchelly, JJ.

1

CHICCHELLY, JUDGE.

This appeal concerns the narrow issue of where the parties' minor child, E.G., should attend school. Wendy Alderin wishes for the child to attend school in Illinois where she resides. The district court determined that E.G. should attend school in Iowa where his father, Tyler Gould, resides. Upon our de novo review, we affirm that E.G. should be enrolled in the Davenport Community School District.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

E.G., born in 2017, is the only child shared by Wendy and Tyler. The parties were living together in Blue Grass, Iowa, at the time of his birth but separated in approximately 2019. At that time, Tyler moved to nearby Walcott, Iowa. Tyler filed a petition to establish custody and visitation, but the parties were able to cooperate and arrive at a stipulation to maintain joint legal custody and joint physical care on a week on/week off basis, which the court approved in March 2020.

Between March and June of 2020, Wendy moved into a home owned by her fiance in Taylor Ridge, Illinois. Wendy works as a paramedic and is able to arrange her schedule to work on alternate weeks when she does not have E.G. Wendy has three older children, ages nine, thirteen, and fourteen. She has physical care of the two oldest children and joint care of the nine-year-old child, whose schedule syncs with that of E.G. Under Wendy's stipulation with the father of her nine-year-old child, she cannot leave the Rockridge School District (based in Taylor Ridge, Illinois).

2

In January 2021, Tyler moved to Buffalo, Iowa, where he now resides with his girlfriend.[1] They own their home as joint tenants and have a one-year-old daughter. He is employed full-time as an auto mechanic in Davenport.

In May, Tyler filed a petition requesting the court to determine where E.G. should attend school. During the pendency of this action, E.G. began four-year-old preschool at a private school in Illinois. Tyler and Wendy had each enrolled him in different schools, but Tyler explained that he had to "bite the bullet" and consent to attendance in Illinois to avoid E.G. missing out on preschool. Wendy accepted responsibility for the cost of the preschool.

In March 2022, the district court held a hearing on the matter and subsequently ordered E.G. to be enrolled in the Davenport Community School District beginning in the fall of 2022. Wendy filed a timely appeal.

II. Review.

As this appeal concerns modification of a child custody action and was heard in equity, our review is de novo. See Iowa R. App. P. 6.907; Christy v. Lenz, ...

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