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Limeres v. Limeres

Supreme Court of Alaska

March 14, 2014

RENE E. LIMERES, Appellant,
v.
AMY W. LIMERES, Appellee

Page 292

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 293

Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Andrew Guidi, Judge. Superior Court No. 3AN-11-09292 CI.

Rene E. Limeres, Appellant, Pro se, Healy.

David W. Baranow, Law Offices of David Baranow, Anchorage, for Appellee.

Before: Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen, and Bolger, Justices.

OPINION

Page 294

MAASSEN, Justice.

I. INTRODUCTION

The parents of three minor children divorced. The father appeals the court's determination

Page 295

of his child support obligations, its factual findings regarding child custody and visitation, its valuation and division of the marital estate, its denial of attorney's fees, and its denial of a continuance. We affirm on all issues.

II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

Amy and Rene Limeres were married in 1997 and had three children together. Amy is an attorney; Rene has made money from a variety of self-employment activities, including guiding, writing articles about the outdoors, and selling books. The couple separated in July 2011, and Amy filed for divorce.

On August 2, 2011, Amy petitioned for ex parte and long-term protective orders. The court denied the ex parte petition, and the parties later cancelled the hearing on the long-term protective order, having both retained counsel and embarked on settlement negotiations. In the meantime, on August 22, 2011, the court entered a mutual civil no-contact order on the parties' request.

Amy and Rene failed to reach a settlement, and in October 2011 the court held a hearing on Amy's request for a long-term protective order. Amy testified that Rene had threatened to shoot her and that he repeatedly violated the no-contact order with emails, letters, and voice mail messages. Rene admitted to violating the no-contact order, though he denied any bad intent.

The court granted the long-term protective order, finding that Rene had " threatened . . . to blow petitioner's head off with a shotgun if she touched their alleged marijuana plants in his greenhouse" and that this threat constituted fourth degree assault. The court withheld judgment as to whether there was " possible telephone harassment," finding that this depended " on the content of multiple voice mail messages" that had not yet been produced in discovery. The court also ordered that Amy retain possession of the marital home, that Rene complete an anger management or batterers' intervention program, and that all visitation between Rene and the children be supervised.

The court held an interim custody hearing in November 2011. It heard testimony from Amy about additional violations of the no-contact order and violations of the subsequent long-term domestic violence protective order, including Rene's arrest for following Amy in his vehicle. The court issued an interim order reiterating its prior orders on possession of the marital home and supervised visitation; it also declined to award spousal support to Rene but awarded him $4,000 in interim attorney's fees. Finally, the court found that Rene had committed multiple violations of the no-contact order, but it deferred a ruling on sanctions until his criminal prosecution was resolved.[1]

The court held a two-day divorce and custody trial in July 2012. Following trial it granted the requested divorce and awarded sole legal and physical custody of the three children to Amy. The court found that Rene's net annual income was $40,000 and that he was obligated to pay child support of $1,514 per month retroactive to August 1, 2011. The court also divided the marital property, awarding the marital home to Amy.

Rene filed a motion for reconsideration, which the court denied. Rene appeals.

III. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

We review an award of child support for abuse of discretion.[2] We review the superior court's factual findings regarding a party's income for purposes of calculating child support for clear error.[3] Whether the superior court applied the correct legal standard to its child support determination is a question of law that we review de novo.[4]

The superior court has broad discretion in its determinations ...


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