from Madison Circuit Court (DR-05-1067.01)
Keith Rippey ("the father") appeals from a judgment
entered by the Madison Circuit Court ("the trial
court") to the extent that it determined the amount of
past- due child support he owes Heidi Mae Rippey ("the
mother"). We reverse the trial court's judgment.
and Procedural History
trial court entered a judgment on March 3, 2006, divorcing
the father and the mother. In that judgment, the father was
ordered to begin paying the mother monthly child support in
the amount of $141 on April 1, 2006.
August 30, 2016, the mother filed a complaint seeking a
modification of the parties' divorce judgment,
requesting, among other things, a modification of the
father's monthly child-support obligation; she also
requested that the trial court hold the father in contempt
for failing to pay child support.
trial, the mother testified that the father had not paid any
child support until the child began school in 2009. She
testified that she did not have any records of what
child-support payments the father had or had not made from
the time the child started school in 2009 through 2012 and
that she could not be certain how much he had paid during
that period. She testified, however, that the father had not
paid child support "that often" during that period.
In calculating the father's child-support arrearage, the
mother assumed that the father had paid no child support from
the time that the child started school in 2009 through 2012.
The mother did, however, introduce records of the
child-support payments made by the father beginning in 2013,
and she used those records to calculate the amount she was
claiming the father owed her for past-due child support.
father testified that he had money orders showing that he had
paid child support in the amounts of $760 in 2010, $920 in
2011, $1, 825 in 2012, $1, 250 in 2013, $605 in 2014, $935 in
2015, and $605 in 2016.
trial, the trial court entered a judgment on August 10, 2017,
that, in pertinent part, found the father "in arrears in
his payment of child support in the following amounts:
principal in the amount of $8, 072.00 with interest accruing
at 12% of $9, 232.93 and principal in the amount of $8,
449.00 with interest accru[ing] at 7.5% of $1, 985.74 as of
August 1, 2017." The trial court entered a judgment
against the father in the amount of $27,
739.67. We note that all the amounts determined by
the trial court to be owed by the father for past-due child
support and interest are identical to the amounts calculated
and testified to by the mother.
September 7, 2017, the father filed an answer and a request
for visitation; he also filed a postjudgment motion that same
On October 11, 2017, the parties filed a written consent to
extend the time to rule on the father's postjudgment
motion to December 20, 2017; however, because the trial court
failed to rule on the father's postjudgment motion on or
before December 20, 2017, the father's postjudgment
motion was deemed denied by operation of law on that date.
Rule 59.1, Ala. R. Civ. P. On January 30, 2018, the father
timely filed his notice of appeal.
"'[W]here the evidence has been [presented] ore
tenus, a presumption of correctness attends the trial
court's conclusion on issues of fact, and this Court will
not disturb the trial court's conclusion unless it is
clearly erroneous and against the great weight of the
evidence, but will affirm the judgment if, under any
reasonable aspect, it is supported by credible
Reed v. Board of Trs. for Alabama State Univ., 778
So.2d 791, 795 (Ala. 2000) (quoting Raidt v. Crane,
342 So.2d ...