Bachmeier v. Bachmeier- No. 20120358
Jason Bachmeier appeals from a district court order denying his motion to hold Natasha Stevens, formerly Natasha Bachmeier, in contempt of court for violating the terms of the divorce judgment concerning parental rights and responsibilities.
Bachmeier and Stevens were divorced by stipulation in 2010. They have three children together from the marriage. Her attorney for the divorce prepared a parenting plan to be included in the divorce judgment. The plan was signed by both parties, and was filed with the court. At the time of the divorce, they lived in Granville, N.D., and all three children attended Granville school. After the divorce, Stevens moved to Glenburn, N.D., and enrolled the children in school there. Glenburn is approximately 30 miles from Granville. In April 2011, Stevens moved to amend the judgment and award her primary residential responsibility. Bachmeier responded with a motion to hold Stevens in contempt for changing the school the children attended and for frustrating his parenting time. The district court denied Stevens's motion, but did not rule on Bachmeier's contempt motion. Bachmeier renewed his motion, and a hearing was held. At the hearing, Bachmeier argued that the judgment did not incorporate the parenting plan, the parenting plan had no effect, and that the language in the judgment created a duty sufficient to find Stevens in contempt for changing the school the children attended. He requested that the court find Stevens in contempt and require that the children attend Granville school. The district court denied the motion for contempt, ruling that the parenting plan applied, that Stevens had the authority to change the school the children attended, and that Stevens had not willfully disobeyed a court order when they had to make transportation and parenting time adjustments because of the change of schools.
On appeal, Bachmeier argues the district court erred by finding that the parenting plan applied, and that because the parenting plan is inapplicable, Stevens should be found in contempt of court for enrolling the children in Glenburn schools.