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_ FilED IY CLERk
KS.IJISlR1CT oaar TRU~D JUDICIAL OIU
(kr 29 9371H '91
CEl4ER,u JU,,;S()ltTIOH TOPEICA. KANSAS.
IN THEcDISTRICT CQURT OF SflAWNEE COUNTY, KANSAS
. . - DMSION TWELVE
In the Matter of me Maniage af .
Case No. ~D~217
JOt !RNAL ENTRY OF riIyoRCE
This matter was ,tried to the Court on Septeniler 18 and 19, 1997 and taken under advisement. The COWl deems 'that the cue iI'DOW fully submined and after con.sidering the
testimony and evtdence presented at trial IS well u the f"IXIIU from social services providcn
speei6,caIly Dr. Joel NInCC', Dr: Richard Maxfitlld, guardian. ad litem Scott McKemie, the letter'
of Jenny Shaw, the home visitation report of Sbaaa O'Neil, comt SCfVicea officer, tnIDICripU of hearings before Judge Leu.enbeJpr, the Court hurt:lCbed, the following findings and conclusions.
I. This couple Was married an me 2lDd ofNovcmber, 1995 and sepanted 00.
February 5, 1996_ This divorce case was filed on March 4, 1996. The parties are the parent,s of one cbild, Rikkl Alexandra Dombrowski, bom on Dcecmber 12, 1994.
2, The Court finds that the parties are incomparibleancl that a divoroe should-be
. 3. PROPERTY DMSION_ Each party should be award~ all personal propenY .
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currently in their possession and all personal property owned by them al the time of the marriage. Mr. Richardson is involved in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and niakes a monthly payment of 5314 per month on his debts. Ms. Dombrowski i~ involved also in a bankruptcy case and inake a 575 per
month payment. The Court would order1hat each party should conclude their bankruptcy
obligations and pay all debts they have incurred since the date of separation. Respondent is
awarded ber KPERS ICCOunt,
There are several it.eDU of personal property which are in dispute. Neither party has established by a preponderance of the evidence what would C(lnstitute the value ofw property
how or when it was acquired. It has been established, however, that Ms. Dombrowski left the marriage with only • suitcase and a few personal dreeu.
In November or December 1994, Mr. RichllrdlOD pun:hucd a home. At. that time the
putia were living together but were not married. Mr. Ricbardson testified he has executed' a
contract of sale of this pro~ for 578,950, There is & mortpge ba1&nce of betw~ 549,000
mel 550,000 : In addition to the mortgage, there is an IRS lien against the property which Mr. Richardson testified wu approximately 54,800. After deduccifts theseitem5 and the 510,000
down payment wbich Mr. Richardson made with funds be acquired prior to cohabitation or
marriage, the Court concludes that there is an equity in tJis property of approximately 59,000.
The Coon would' order that Mr. Richardson pay to Ms. Dombrowski the IWIl of 54,SOC upon the
closing of the sale of this property. In the event that the JIIe does not close, the Coon will
impose a judicial lien in favor Claudine Dombrowski of 54,500 on the parties' rCal'estate to carry
interest at 7.5% per annum from November 1,1997. Based upon the weight of the evidence in
this case, it is the Court's conclusion that the 54,500 cash payment from the sale ofth.e residenee
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is an equitable apportionment of property to Ms. Dombrowski for all claims she may have for her interest in marital property. In the event of closing this sale before January 1, 1998, Mr. Richardson is to pay to Ms. Dombrowski at closing or after Ms. Dombrowski has relocated to Topeka, whichever occurs last.
4. MAINTENANCE The Court finds ~t maintenance should not be awarded in this
5. . CUSTODY Each party requests the Court to award them custody of the minor
child. Temporary custody and visitation of the minor child has been fiercely litigated in this case and has been the subject of several hearings before Judge Leuenberger.
At the trial of this case, considerable time was spent proving that .this couple has had a violent domestic relationship and that on at leur: ODe oecui.on Ms. Dombrowski suffered serious injury at the hands of Mr. Ricbirdson aIthougb the pltties CIIIlDOt agree on exactly when, where or how this injury was inflicted. There is no evidence that either put has physically banned Rikki.
From the evidence it IPJ)e8IS to the Cowt that lhe violence in this couple's relationship comes from both directions, Mither is totally bIameless. Mr. Richardsoo, being male, is stronpr and therefore able to in1Iict greater pbyEal iDjuIy on Ma. Dombrowski tlwl she on him, however, the Court finds that Ms. Dombrowski has iDitiIted and provoked aome of the violent contact. Mr. Richardson has been, convicted of domestic battery and at leur ORe UllOho! related offense. Further, in the context of a custody decision, it is clear that neither parem at t.his time has the capacity to co-parem or to suppon the other parent's loving relationship with theit daugbter.
Mutual parental involvement with this chi1d has been made worse by Ms. DombroWJIa's unilateral decision to move to Lamed, Kansas in May of 1996. The distance between Topeka-and
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Larned makes it virtually impossible for an individual treater to work with the family; for Mr. Richardson to have regular and frequent contact with this cliild; to establish any reasonable
dialogue between the parents toward resolving their conflicts. The move from Topeka to Lamed.,
due to the proximity of the parties, has lessened the physic81 violence. It has, however, done
violence to the relationship ofRikki and her father. If long distance visitation is continued, in the Court's view, wiD take i.t! toU n.ol only on Rildd but each of the parties. The Court specifically
finds that separation of the child from either parent for lo.ng periods of time is ha1mfuI for I child of about three years of age.
The Court believes that it is raced with choosina between two alternatives, The first is to
place custody in one or the other the parents and continue a long distance visitation arran81!Tllmt.
The second choice is to require Ms. Dombrowski to rerum to Shawnee County with Rikki and
establish and a structured custody and visitation program so that RikId may enjoy frequent and regular coIttact with both parents.
Ms- Dombrowski requests the Court to give her residential custody in Pawnee Rock.
KaDsu and visitation be ordered to take place in Wichita UIId« supervised conditions. This pt.
would curtail Mr. Richardson's access to Rilcld !MID more,than it currently is. Further, the Court
finds that there is 110 evidence which woold support a court order for sUpervisee! visitation. While
it is obvious that supervision is needed when the parties exchange CWlOdy of the child because of
the potential for violence between the parties, evidence is IacIcing that Mr. Richardson does not
adequately care for and protect the child. Me. Richardson hu been previously mairied. To that
marriage were born three children. From the evidence available to the Court, there is no bois to
support that Mr_ Richardson has mistreated any of his children in any way.
The esc, Sherri Keller, bas had more contact with this couple and observed their interactions more than any of the mental health professionals that have offered opinions. In the Court's view, her recommendation to place custody in Mr. Richardson carries great weight. Also weighing heavily in this case is the fact that Ms. Dombrowski has been the primary caretaker of
the child. The Court i5 always hesitant to change custody from a primary caretaker.
It is my conclusion that the best interest of the Rikki is fur her to reside in a location where both parenu have access to beT. Further, the Court is orderinsjoint custody in this casus I am concerned that sole custody in either parent will rauIt in manipulation and abuse of their position as sole custodian to harm the relationship ofRildd md the other parent. The Court enters the following specUic orders relating to CUStody of tho child:
A. The Court awards joint custody of·tbe pII1ies' minor cbiId with temporary
resideutial. placement with the mother. Ms. Dombrowski is ordered to reloca!e with the child in Shawnee County, Kamas, on or before J8IIIlIl)' I, 1991. In the event Ms. Dombrowski and the child are not residina in Shawnee County on Juuuy I, 1991, sole custody shall be ordered in Mr. Riebards01l.
B. Shawnee County Court Services is appoiBted cue dIID.IS« to wist the pames in
developing a plan. for residentiIJ custody UId viJiwion JIUI1U&IIl to K.S.A. 23-1001 et seq. after January 1, 1998. The Court is reserving the questiOll of shared custody or appointiDg • residential parent for after January 1. 1998, at this time. In the evCDt that the parties areWlible to asree on residential custody and visitation after reloeation to Topeb, the}:ourt will make" d.cumUnation shortly after January I, 1998 or upon motion of either party if impasse is reached prior to that time. The parties are prospectively advised that its custody decision will be influenced by
evidence on the willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the oth.er parent. Each parent should endeavor during the I'IC7J. 60 da~ to demonstrate a capacity to allow and foster a continuing reWionship between the child and the
C. N. soon after the first of the year as i~ can be arranged, the couple shall consult
with Dr. Richard Maxfield for the purpose Or re-evaluating the parties' circumstances and to make recommendatiom regarding therapy faT the parties and for a post-divorce co-pan:nting
D. All exchanges ofRikki shall occur at the YMCA Safe Visit location under their
E. The Court orders that neither party JhaIl remove Rlkki from Pawnee County or
Sbawnee COunty ,except for direct tramportation betweea Topeka and Pawnee Rock. Specifically. this order means neither party sball take this child overnight to any lo<:ation other than their home vritho\It prior approval of the case manager .. Disregard of this order:willlikdy result in a chmge of custody.
F. The Court orders the partiesto work out petitioner's visitation in case
iomagemcnt tbrou.gb DecaDber, 1997 wbcRia.. !be petitioner will have Riltki approximately one week per month. AU other orders and admonitions included in tbeMay 28, 1997 order of Judge Leuenberger not in conBictwith this order sbaIl remain iD full force and effect.
G. Mr. Richardson shall not consume alcoholic beverages wruleRilOO is in his custody
or for four hours prior to picking her up for visitation.
H.. Both parties are directed to complete anger management classes.
L During visitation with petitioner, the peJjtioner will assist Rilclci in initiating a
telephone call to respondent every 48 hours at 8p.m. ReQ>Ddent ill enjoined &om camPi
petitioner's home except in case ofa bOna fide emerwencv- Further, respondent is directed to not
call law enforcement authorities to investigate the petitioner without first consulting with the case
manager. Failure to comply with this provision will result in altenstion of the visiwioD sehedule_
6. The Court has evaluated Mi Dombrowski's assertion that her move to Larned
was necessitated due to the closure of Topeka State Hospital. No evidence was presented
regarding her effort to find empl~ locally. The Court bas taken notice that the Topeka
Daily Capitol newspaper each weelcend advertises from six to ten available positions for LPNs in
• Topeka or surrounding counties including the Topeka Correctional Facility. The Court concludes
that Ms. Dombrowski's residCDc:e in lArned is not necessary for her employment.
7. When Rildd was bom the panics had not yet married. A1 that time the child was
named Rildci A1exanc1n Dombrowski. Petitioner,Mr. Richardson, requats that the Court order
that the child's name be changed to Richardson. The ~ Court of Appea1s receady ruled I"
Re: Marriage of J(jllman. 23 Kan. App. 2d 975 ~ • trial court in • domestic relations action bas
jurisdiction and the statutory IUlbority to change the rIIJM of. child of the marriaBe which is
• The Court finds that it is in Riklci's bes!: intemt tbAIt her IW'rIIIDe iDcIude the na.nie of
Richardson. The Court has ~ the decision that R.ikki should have the ~ of two involved
parents. The struggle between RikIci's parents is signiticam and the animosity caused by her -
surname can be easily eliminated. Since RiIcki will be parented by both PIlc:nu. there wiD be less
confusion if her father's's surname is included_ The Court notes that Ms. Dombrowski did not
change her name at the time of marriage and therefore wiD permit her to elect whether or not
Rilcki's surname shall be changed to Richardson or Dombrowski-Richardson. Attac:hed to this
order, the Court is furnishing forms for counsel to complete to effectuate the name change. The
parties are directed to complete these fonns and schedule and appointment with this Court to
execute same within 30 days from the date of this order.
8. The respondent's request for past maintenance is denied as the Court is without
jurisdiction to grant same. Sec In &: Marriagr oj Brown, 247 Kan. 152, 164 and K.SA 60- 161O(bX2) .. Respondent's request for retroactive reimbursement. of mileage reimbursement and medical cxpemICS is also denied. Judge LeuaJberser's order establishing child support and suucturcct"visiwion CllJlDot be retroactively modified to im:rea.se Mr. Richardson's liability. See
In &: MtzrTiap of Blagg, 13 Kan App 2d 530. Inso&r u future travel expenses are concerned, the Coon finds that this COlt should be borne by Mt. DOmbrowski. 11 was sh.1!: ~ho removed
herself to Lamed, Kansas. This Wlilateral decision rhould not impose I greater expense on Mr.
Richardson. FmalIy, the Court denies respondent's motion for retroactive child suppon. The
statute cited by counsel K.S.A. 38¥1121(e) is app1k:able to pecrnity cases. The Court does eater
judgment for all uapaid temporary child support ordered in this case.
9. For the months of November and December, 1997, the Court orden child support
in the amount of $31 (I per month to be paid by the petitioner to the n;:spondem in accordance with
the attached wodtsbcct. The respondent shall provide health insurance and any uninsured health
care costs will be divided equally_ The Court will recalculate child support in connection with its
custody order or upon motion of either party if there is a change in circumstances. Respondent
shall claim Rilcki as her dependent for income tax purposes in odd numbered years and petitioner
sball claim her in even numbered years.
10. In respondent' s closing argument, the claim is made forS602 representing medical
bills of petitioner's children from his first marriage that were "charged" to Ms. Dombrowski The
Court is uncertain whether or 11,01 these expenses were paid by Ms. Dombrowsld's insurance or
her pcrsottal!y. Assuming these expenses were paid by insurance, the request that she be personally reimbursed for them. is denied. 1n the event that Ms. Dombrowski is elainiing that she
personally bu paid medical bills for Mr. Richardson's children, lhc Court woUld direct that thc$c
bills and her evidence of payment be itcmiud so tIW the Coon. may make a determination on
whether or not a reimbursement should be made as a matter of equity.
II. Theresttaining order previously emered in this cue is extended for • period of one
12. Each. party shall pay their own attorneys fees. Court COSQ are assc:ssed against the
IT IS .50 ORDERED.
ENTERED thi~ of October, 1997, at T~ Kmsu.
Don Hoffman AinkaKweli Harry Moore Sherri Keller . Scott McIGeru:ie
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~ ATE C1F IIJI.NIAS. CCIUNTY ~ SHAWN&. as. i~~~"""aIII~"bII
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