Submitted on Briefs: April 27, 2017
Zachary Brandmeir, Esq., Bangor, for appellant Robert Pyle.
Anthony A. Trask, Esq., and Kristy M. Hapworth, Esq., Rudman
Winchell, Bangor, for appellee Nicky Pyle.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Robert Pyle appeals from a judgment of the District Court
(Bangor, Larson, J.) awarding child support and
primary residence of the parties children to his former
spouse, Nicky Pyle. Robert contends on appeal that the court
erred in two ways: first, by awarding primary residence of
the children to Nicky, and second, by incorrectly calculating
Roberts child support obligation. We disagree with his first
contention and therefore affirm in part, but agree that the
court committed clear error in its factual findings regarding
the calculation of Roberts obligation to pay for the
childrens health insurance, and we vacate that portion of the
judgment related to the health insurance component of Roberts
child support obligation.
The following factual findings are supported by the record.
See Robertson v. Gerakaris, 2015 ME 83, ¶ 2,
119 A.3d 739. Nicky and Robert Pyle were married on September
5, 2003. They have two children, aged 7 and 11. Nicky has
worked for sixteen years as a computed tomography scan
technician. Robert is employed as a scrub technician and, for
about three years, has also operated a landscaping business.
In December 2015, Nicky filed for divorce, citing
irreconcilable differences. She and Robert agreed to and the
court (Campbell, J.) entered a stipulated interim
order, which established that the children would reside
primarily with Nicky, that Nicky and Robert would share
parental rights and responsibilities, and that Robert would
pay $212.23 as child support and $98.60 as interim spousal
support each week. Robert filed an answer and counterclaimed
for divorce in January 2016. A mediation held on February 4,
2016, failed to resolve all of the issues between the
After a hearing on June 29, 2016, the court (Larson,
J.) entered a divorce judgment. The court found that
Nicky has been the primary caretaker of the children, and
that she has been primarily responsible for providing for
their basic needs, such as feeding, bathing, religious
education, arranging and attending healthcare appointments,
and arranging and attending parent-teacher conferences. The
court found that Nicky "is far more aware and
involved" in the older childs special needs, including
extensive health issues related to allergies, and mental
health concerns stemming from his anxiety about his
allergies. The court emphasized that Roberts two jobs
"will make it difficult for him to share equally in
caring for the children." Therefore, after considering
the "best interest" standard pursuant to 19-AM.R.S.
§ 1653 (2016), the court concluded that the contact
schedule already in place had been working well and that
primary residence should remain with Nicky.
The divorce judgment also incorporated a child support order
requiring that Robert pay $475.36 each week in child support,
including $61.36 weekly for health insurance. The court found
that Roberts financial disclosures, which were based on his
2015 tax returns, had understated income from his landscaping
business, and thus calculated the child support payments on
the basis of income extrapolated from deposits to Roberts
business bank account rather than the income shown on his tax
Robert now timely appeals the courts judgment. See
M.R. App. P. 2(b)(3).