from the District Court of Cass County, East Central Judicial
District, the Honorable Susan L. Bailey, Judge.
IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.
J. duCharme (argued) and Christel A. Croxen (appeared), for
plaintiff and appellee.
R. Brothers, for defendant and appellant.
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
1] Jerry Harvey appealed from a district court order and
second amended judgment finding him in contempt and modifying
his parenting time. We affirm those parts of the judgment
finding Harvey in contempt and modifying his parenting time,
but we reverse and remand the district court's order of
2] Harvey and Christine Rasmussen Harvey divorced in January
2014. The parties have three minor children together, and
Rasmussen was awarded primary residential responsibility of
the children. In December 2015, Rasmussen moved to modify
Harvey's parenting time and requested the court find
Harvey in contempt. In April 2016, the district court granted
Rasmussen's motion, modified Harvey's parenting time,
found Harvey was in contempt, and ordered Harvey pay
Rasmussen's attorney's fees and costs.
3] Harvey argues the district court erred by finding him in
contempt and amending the parties' parenting plan to
reduce his parenting time. He contends the court's
findings are not sufficient to support its decision.
4] The district court has broad discretion in deciding
whether contempt has been committed, and the court's
decision will not be overturned on appeal unless there is a
clear abuse of discretion. Peterson v. Peterson,
2016 ND 157, ¶¶ 3, 6, 883 N.W.2d 449. A district
court's decision to modify parenting time is a finding of
fact, subject to the clearly erroneous standard of review.
Schurmann v. Schurmann, 2016 ND 69, ¶ 8, 877
N.W.2d 20. "A district court must adequately explain the
evidentiary and legal basis for its decision, allowing the
parties and this Court to understand the decision."
Curtiss v. Curtiss, 2016 ND 197, ¶ 13, 886
N.W.2d 565 (quoting In re Estate of Nelson, 2015 ND
122, ¶ 13, 863 N.W.2d 521). The court's findings are
sufficient if they afford a clear understanding of the
court's decision and assist this Court in conducting its
review. Topolski v. Topolski, 2014 ND 68, ¶ 7,
844 N.W.2d 875.
5] The district court's findings are not a model, but
they are sufficient to discern the factual basis for the
court's decision. After reviewing the entire record, we
conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion by
finding Harvey in contempt and the court's decision to
modify Harvey's parenting time is not clearly erroneous.
We summarily affirm the district court's contempt and
parenting time decisions under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2) and
6] Harvey argues the district court abused its discretion by
ordering him to pay Rasmussen's attorney's fees and
costs. He contends the court was required to consider the
parties' needs and ...