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COA: Mother should have challenged income evidence at trial

May 24, 2013

A mother who claimed that the record doesn’t support her actual or current income after her ex-husband was granted sole custody of her children should have brought up her concerns at trial, not on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

Christopher Duckworth was granted sole custody of his two minor children with ex-wife Angela Duckworth. She was ordered to pay $231 in child support each week. The trial court determined the mother’s child support obligation based on the income the father assigned to her on his child support worksheet. She did not submit a worksheet or other evidence of her income.

Angela Duckworth claimed the only evidence in the record regarding her income was the testimony of her current employment status. Since she didn’t submit any evidence of her income, her complaint about the amount of income assigned is misplaced, the judges ruled in Angela Duckworth v. Christopher R. Duckworth, 29A02-1208-DR-669.

“The trial court assigned an income level to Mother that was supported by the only evidence in the record of Mother’s income – the figure assigned by Father on his worksheet,” Judge Melissa May wrote. “If Mother disagreed with that amount, the time to challenge its accuracy was at trial, not on appeal. We decline to reverse because of an alleged error in the income figure the trial court used to determine her child support obligation.”

 

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