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Wilhour v. Wilhour

Supreme Court of Alaska

September 6, 2013

Joshua C. WILHOUR, Appellant,
v.
Jacqueline S. WILHOUR, Appellee.

Page 885

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 886

David A. Golter, Golter & Logsdon, P.C., for Appellant.

Notice of nonparticipation filed bye Kenneth J. Goldman, Law Offices of Kenneth J. Goldman, P.C., Anchorage, for Appellee.

Before: FABE, Chief Justice, WINFREE, STOWERS, MAASSEN, and BOLGER, Justices.

OPINION

MAASSEN, Justice.

I. INTRODUCTION

After relocating in order to share custody of his son, Joshua Wilhour moved for a modification of child support based on both this new custody arrangement and a reduction in his income. Joshua and his former wife, Jacqueline Wilhour, each alleged that the other was voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. The court modified child support, basing its calculation of Joshua's income on what he had earned before his move. Joshua appeals the court's order. He challenges the court's denial of his request for an evidentiary hearing; its findings on whether the parties were voluntarily unemployed or underemployed; and its selection of an effective date for the modification. We remand for an evidentiary hearing and for reconsideration of the effective date.

II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

Joshua and Jacqueline Wilhour had a son, born in 2002. They lived in Healy until August 2010, when the couple separated and Jacqueline moved to Wasilla with their son. She filed for divorce soon after. The superior court issued a child custody decree in November 2011, awarding joint legal custody and granting Jacqueline primary physical custody. Joshua's monthly child support obligation was set at $992.15.

Joshua moved for reconsideration, asking that the court allow for an automatic reversion to joint physical custody if he moved from Healy to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. The court granted Joshua's request, ordering " that in the event that Joshua relocates to the Mat-Su Valley on or before February 23, 2012, physical custody shall revert to an alternating weekly schedule."

Joshua relocated to the Valley before this deadline and on February 29, 2012, moved to modify child support, arguing that the change in custody resulting from his move constituted a substantial change in circumstances. He also contended that the move caused a significant reduction in his income, because he had quit his job in Healy with the Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA). In his accompanying affidavit, Joshua stated that he had recently signed up with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and expected to begin seasonal work in a few months. He estimated, however, that his annual income from union work would be $40,000, less than what he had been ...


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