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Furstenfeld v. Pepin

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

March 1, 2016

JUSTIN S. FURSTENFELD, APPELLANT,
v.
LISA B. PEPIN, APPELLEE

Page 469

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 470

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 471

Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: JOHN A. COLBORN, Judge.

Matt Catlett, of Law Office of Matt Catlett, for appellant.

Terrance A. Poppe and Andrew K. Joyce, of Morrow, Poppe, Watermeier & Lonowski, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

MOORE, Chief Judge, and INBODY and BISHOP, Judges.

OPINION

Page 472

[23 Neb.App. 675] Moore, Chief Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Justin S. Furstenfeld appeals from orders entered by the district court for Lancaster County in the course of this modification action. Justin challenges the court's award to Lisa B. Pepin of $5,000 in temporary attorney fees. Furstenfeld also challenges the court's order acknowledging that Pepin had made payments to him under a contempt purge plan, discharging her from the contempt judgment, and awarding her $120 in attorney fees in connection with that order. Because the order awarding temporary attorney fees is not a final, appealable order, we dismiss the appeal as it relates to that order. We affirm the order discharging Pepin from the contempt judgment and awarding Pepin fees in connection with obtaining this order.

II. BACKGROUND

1. Decree of Dissolution

The parties were initially divorced in December 2010, and an amended decree was entered in January 2011. See Furstenfeld v. Pepin, 23 Neb.App. 155, 869 N.W.2d 353 (2015). The initial decree approved the parties' property settlement agreement, custody agreement, and support agreement, while the amended decree corrected errors in certain provisions. See id.

2. Complaints to Modify and Appeal in Case No. A-14-814

On August 30, 2011, Pepin filed an amended complaint to modify the parties' dissolution decree, seeking to modify Furstenfeld's parenting time and child support obligation. On September 18, Furstenfeld filed an answer and counterclaim, seeking custody of the parties' minor child. On December 2, he filed a voluntary dismissal of his counterclaim. We note that resolution of Pepin's modification action was delayed for some time because she experienced difficulty in obtaining Furstenfeld's medical records and she had to obtain a [23 Neb.App. 676] court order requiring him to provide certain medical records. Furstenfeld filed an appeal from the order, which appeal was dismissed by the Nebraska Supreme Court because the appeal was not from a final, appealable order. See Furstenfeld v. Pepin, 287 Neb. 12, 840 N.W.2d 862 (2013).

On June 18, 2012, Pepin filed a motion seeking to enforce a settlement agreement reached by the parties in May after pro-longed negotiations, which Furstenfeld subsequently refused to sign.

On June 10, 2014, while resolution of Pepin's motion to enforce the settlement agreement was pending, Furstenfeld filed a motion seeking leave to file an amended or supplemental answer to Pepin's operative complaint for modification. The record on appeal does not contain a ruling by the district court on Justin's motion, but the parties both assert in their briefs that the court denied his request. On July 7, he filed his own complaint to modify the decree in which he asked for custody and child support.

On July 14, 2014, the district court entered an order finding ...


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