Summary of Decision June 4, 2012
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Case Name: IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF SDL, AJL and GASL, Minor Children: SL, Appellant (Respondent), v. CAD, Appellee (Petitioner).
Docket Number: S-11-0268
Appeal from the District Court of Uinta County, Honorable Dennis L. Sanderson, Judge
Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Pro se.
Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Farrah L. Spencer, Long, Reimer, Winegar, Beppler, LLP, Park City, Utah.
Date of Decision: June 4, 2012
Facts: Father and Mother were divorced in Colorado in 2008. Six children had been born of the marriage. Mother was granted custody of the children, and Father was ordered to pay $686.00 per month for child support. Mother married Stepfather in 2009, and the couple moved to Wyoming with the three youngest children. By that time, the oldest child had joined the military. The second child remained in Colorado, living with the family of a friend. The third child moved into Father’s home.
In 2011, Stepfather filed a petition with the district court to adopt the three youngest children. Mother consented to the adoption. The petition alleged that Father’s consent was not required because he had willfully failed to satisfy his child support obligations. Father responded to the petition for adoption, disputing that he was in arrears with his child support payments, and raising several other issues.
The district court held a hearing on the matter on September 22, 2011. It heard testimony from Stepfather, Mother, Father, Father’s brother, and the third child. The district court later issued an order granting Stepfather’s petition for adoption. Father appealed from that order. Father, SL, resisted the petition by Stepfather, CAD, to adopt SL’s three youngest children. The district court approved the adoption over SL’s objections, and SL appealed.
Issues: Father, who appears pro se in this appeal as he did in the district court, lists several issues: 1)Did the district court err in calculating the arrearages in Father’s child support payments? 2)Did the district court misapply Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 20-2-304(e) (LexisNexis 2011) by failing to give Father credit for social security payments made directly to Mother as child support? 3)Did the district court err in finding Stepfather “fit and competent” to adopt the children? 4)Did the district court err in failing to consider information contained in Father’s answer to the petition for adoption, in Father’s proposed findings of fact following the hearing in this matter, and in a letter sent to the court by Stepfather’s attorney after the hearing? 5)Did the district court err in denying Father’s motions for visitation with the children?
Stepfather presented this statement of the issue: Did the district court abuse its discretion when it granted the petition for adoption?
Holdings: The district court’s decision was affirmedJustice Burke delivered the opinion for the court.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Summary of Decision June 4, 2012