from the District Court of Stutsman County, Southeast
Judicial District, the Honorable Cherie L. Clark, Judge.
M. Hoff (argued), self-represented, Montpelier, ND, plaintiff
Halialoha Gututala-Hoff, defendant; no appearance.
1] Kevin Hoff appeals from a divorce judgment that, among
other things, determined a parenting plan for the
parties' children. We affirm the judgment, concluding the
district court's parenting plan decision is supported by
sufficient findings and is not clearly erroneous.
2] Kevin Hoff and Nicole Gututala-Hoff were married in 2013.
They have two children together, born in 2014 and 2016. In
November 2016 Hoff commenced this action for divorce. In
September 2017 the district court held a trial on issues
remaining after mediation. Hoff represented himself at trial.
Gututala-Hoff appeared personally with her attorney.
3] In December 2017 the district court entered its findings
of fact, conclusions of law, and order for judgment. The
court subsequently entered a divorce judgment distributing
their property and debts, granting Gututala-Hoff primary
residential responsibility for the children, granting Hoff
parenting time, granting joint decision-making
responsibility, and awarding child support to Gututala-Hoff.
Hoff filed objections to the judgment, which Gututala-Hoff
opposed. The court denied his objections. Hoff appealed from
4] Hoff argues that he should receive residential
responsibility for the children because it is in the
children's best interests and that the parenting time
schedule should be modified.
5] Generally, custody and visitation decisions are findings
of fact and will not be reversed on appeal unless clearly
erroneous. Horsted v. Horsted, 2012 ND 24, ¶ 4,
812 N.W.2d 448 (citing Edwards v. Edwards, 2010 ND
2, ¶ 7, 777 N.W.2d 606). "A finding of fact is
clearly erroneous if there is no evidence to support it, if
the finding is induced by an erroneous view of the law, or if
the reviewing court is left with a definite and firm
conviction a mistake has been made." Laib v.
Laib, 2008 ND 129, ¶ 10, 751 N.W.2d 228. Under the
clearly erroneous standard, we will not reweigh evidence,
reassess witness credibility, or substitute our judgment for
the district court's decision merely because we might
have reached a different result. Wolt v. Wolt, 2010
ND 26, ¶ 7, 778 N.W.2d 786.
6] At trial the parties stipulated to Gututala-Hoff receiving
primary residential responsibility. The district court then
addressed remaining issues, including the parenting plan. In
Horsted, 2012 ND 24, ¶ 5, 812 N.W.2d 448, the
parties also stipulated to primary residential responsibility
but did not agree on a parenting plan. This Court explained:
"'If the parents are unable to agree on a parenting
plan, the court shall issue a parenting plan considering the
best interests of the child.' N.D.C.C. §
14-09-30(1). A parenting plan must include a provision
relating to decisionmaking responsibility, N.D.C.C. §
14-09-30(2)(a), and that responsibility must be allocated in
the best interests of the child, N.D.C.C. § 14-09-31(2).
The best interests factors are delineated in N.D.C.C. §
14-09-06.2. A district court need not make separate findings
for each best interests factor but, as with custody, the
court's findings must contain sufficient specificity to
show the factual basis for the decision. Wolt, 2010
ND 26, ¶ 9, 778 N.W.2d 786.... 'When a trial court
does not make required findings, it errs as a matter of law,
and it is necessary to remand for additional findings.'
Sailer v. Sailer, 2009 ND 73, ¶ 28, 764 N.W.2d
Horsted, at ¶ 5. In Horsted, this
Court ultimately reversed and remanded with instructions to
make findings, concluding the district court had not provided
sufficient findings to allow proper appellate review.
7] Hoff contends on appeal, unlike at trial, that he should
receive residential responsibility for the children because
it is not in their best interests for Gututala-Hoff to have
residential responsibility. In support of his argument, he
provides an analysis of the best-interest factors under
N.D.C.C. § 14-09-06.2, asserting the factors mostly
favor him. He seeks a revised parenting-time schedule and
requests a mediator decide where the children will eventually
attend school. Hoff also asserts facts outside of the trial
record and raises issues not raised below. However, this
Court "do[es] not consider questions that were not
presented to the trial court ...