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Tegegne v. Andalo

Supreme Court of South Dakota

July 1, 2015

EX REL., FATIMA K. TEGEGNE Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
TADESSE M. ANDALO, Defendant and Appellant

Considered on Briefs: May 26, 2015.

As Corrected September 22, 2015.

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT, THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE SUSAN M. SABERS, Judge.

Reversed and remanded.

RICHARD L. JOHNSON, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorney for plaintiff and appellee.

STEVEN K. RABUCK of Nichols & Rabuck, PC, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

ZINTER, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and SEVERSON, WILBUR, and KERN, Justices, concur.

OPINION

Page 551

ZINTER, Justice.

[¶1] Fatima Tegegne (Mother) brought an action against Tadesse Andalo (Father) to establish Father's child support obligation and to determine arrearages. With respect to arrearages, a child support referee recommended that Father receive a credit for mortgage payments as well as for food, clothing, and school supplies Father had purchased for the children while he was absent from the home. The circuit court adopted the recommendation in part and rejected it in part. The court gave Father no credit for mortgage payments and food, but it allowed a credit for clothing and school supplies. Father appeals the denial of credit for the mortgage payments and food. We reverse and remand to accept the referee's recommendation.

Page 552

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] Mother and Father lived together, had two children, but never married. During the course of the relationship, Father made a down payment on a house, and Mother and Father each paid one-half of the mortgage payments. After they separated, Mother obtained physical custody of the children. Father obtained his own housing and has been absent from the familial home ever since. Father, however, continued to pay one-half of the mortgage payments. When the house was later sold, Mother and Father divided the proceeds equally.

[¶3] Mother subsequently brought this action to establish Father's child support obligation and to determine arrearages. The circuit court approved the child support referee's recommendation for future support in the full amount required by the child ...


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