In the Matter of LaRocqueAnnotate this Case
Respondent George W. LaRocque (Father) appealed a circuit court order that found in contempt for failure to pay child support, calculating his arrearages to be $102,845.52 as of December 20, 2010, and modifying his child support obligation with an effective date of January 7, 2011. The Father and Petitioner Mary Beth LaRocque (Mother) divorced in February 2000. The divorce decree incorporated their permanent stipulation and uniform support order, and required the Father to pay child support for their two children, alimony for six years, and continue to provide medical coverage for the children. The Mother was awarded the marital homestead, but was required to execute a promissory note and a mortgage in favor of the Father to be paid upon sale of the property or the youngest child reaching age twenty-two. The Father subsequently remarried and his second wife died in October 2010. Following her death, he received $500,000 in life insurance proceeds. On November 8, 2010, the Mother filed a petition for contempt, alleging that the Father had failed to pay the full child support ordered, and had unilaterally reduced his child support payment when their oldest child turned eighteen. The Father objected, arguing that the parties had agreed to waive child support arrearages and to modify child support. He also moved to modify his child support obligation. After a hearing, the trial court found that the parties never entered into such an agreement and held the Father in contempt. An issue on appeal was the characterization of the insurance proceeds Father received, and whether that money could be considered income when determining future modifications of child support. The Supreme Court affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded the case for a determination as to how the receipt of the life insurance proceeds affected the Father's support and arrearage obligations.