The Hawk Eye Newspaper

Monday, November 4, 2002

Child support ordered despite earlier ruling

The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa)

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a Henry County man should pay child support, even though his daughter spends as much time with him as with the child's mother.

Jayson Ditsworth and Lisa Marie Nelson agreed to joint physical custody of their now 8–year–old daughter with no child support in 1999. Nelson went to court the next year asking for child support payments and primary custody, however, and was awarded payments of $95 per week but no change in custody arrangements by District Judge John Linn.

Ditsworth appealed, saying the time he spends with the girl should count as "visitation credit" toward the child support amount.

Judge Van Zimmer agreed with Linn's ruling in Henry County District Court, saying that since Ditsworth is a custodial parent he cannot claim the visitation credit allowed to parents without custody.

The child support payments were awarded because Dits–worth's nearly $50,000–a–year income was substantially more than the $13,000 earned annually by Nelson, the judge said, and represented a substantial change from the $32,000–a–year income Ditsworth was earning at the time of the earlier ruling.