In re the Marriage of: Justin David Shearer, petitioner, Appellant,
Mandy Jane Shearer, Respondent.
County District Court File No. 82-FA-13-1626
Douglas J. Mentes, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
K. Meier, Samuel S. Stalsberg, Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A.,
Woodbury, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Kirk, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks,
Judge; and Rodenberg, Judge.
district court does not err when, on motion, it modifies a
parenting-time arrangement based on a finding that the
modification would be in the children's best interests
and the modification does not restrict parenting time.
appeals the district court's order modifying both the
parenting-time provision of a judgment and decree of
dissolution and the monthly child support to which he and
respondent-mother stipulated, resulting in that judgment and
decree. Father argues that the district court erred in
modifying the parenting-time arrangement based on a
best-interests finding, and in modifying child support to
conform to the parents' exercise of parenting time and
not the parenting time designated in the judgment and decree.
Because we hold that a district court's finding
concerning the best interests of the children is a sufficient
basis to modify parenting time where the modification does
not restrict either parent's time with the children, we
affirm the district court's modification of the
parties' parenting-time arrangement. But because the
district court did not calculate the parenting-time expense
adjustment according to the allocation of parenting time set
forth in the judgment and decree, we reverse that
modification and remand to the district court.
David Shearer (father) and Mandy Jane Shearer (mother)
married on August 4, 2002. In 2004, twin children were born
to the couple. On March 13, 2013, father petitioned for
dissolution of the marriage. On March 16, 2013, the parties
signed a document entitled Stipulated Findings of Fact,
Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment and Judgment and
Decree, drafted by father's attorney. Mother was
to this appeal, the parties agreed in 2013 that it was in the
best interests of their children that the parents "share
permanent joint physical and joint legal custody of their
children" and agreed that parenting time would be shared
equally between them and scheduled to coincide with
father's work schedule. Father works as a pilot for a
commercial airline and is "able to bid for the times
that he will work." Because he bids for a flight
schedule on a monthly basis, his schedule varies monthly. His
work requires that he be out of state for extended periods
during which he cannot supervise the children. The parties
Since separation, the parties have exercised a parenting time
schedule in which [father] exercises parenting time with the
children while he is not working, and staying at home.
[Mother] exercises parenting time while [father] is working
and out of town. The parties agree this permanent schedule is
in the best interests of their children. The parties agree
this schedule is a schedule in which they share equal
parenting time of their children.
parents also agreed on a relatively detailed holiday and
vacation schedule, under which the children would each spend
approximately half of the specified holidays with each
parent, and each parent would be entitled to take a two-week
vacation with the children each year.
parties also agreed in their stipulation that father would
pay child support of $1, 187 per month, less mother's
health-care contributions. This figure took into account the
parents' respective shares of the Parental Income for
determining Child Support (PICS)-79% for father and 21% for
mother-and adjusted the child-support with a parenting-time
expense adjustment appropriate for evenly split parenting
2013, the district court accepted the parties' agreement
and entered a judgment and decree with the stipulated
language, ordering father to pay monthly child support ...