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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Childs v. Childs (10/11/2013) sp-6834

Childs v. Childs (10/11/2013) sp-6834, 310 P3d 955

         Notice:  This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the PACIFIC  REPORTER .  

         Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts,  

         303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878, email  

                                                                                       

         corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us.  



                   THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA  



JOSHUA CHILDS,                                         )  

                                                       )         Supreme Court No. S-14643  

                            Appellant,                 )  

                                                       )         Superior Court No. 3AN-05-13075 CI  

         v.                                            )  

                                                       )         O P I N I O N  

CHRISTINA CHILDS,                                      )  

                                                       )         No. 6834 - October 11, 2013  

                            Appellee.                  )  

                                                       )  



                  Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third  

                               

                   Judicial District, Anchorage, Alex Swiderski, Judge.  



                  Appearances:  Joshua Childs, pro se, Fort Polk, Louisiana,  

                                                                    

                  Appellant.  Christina Childs, pro se, Fairbanks, Appellee.  



                   Before:  Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen, and  

                                                           

                   Bolger, Justices.  



                   FABE, Chief Justice.  



I.       INTRODUCTION  



                  A mother and father of two minor children dissolved their marriage in 2005.  



The mother was awarded sole legal and physical custody of the children and the father  

                        



was ordered to pay child support.   The father then joined the United States Army in  

                                                                                                    



2006.  Five years later, the mother filed a motion to modify the standing child support  

                                                                                                       



award,  seeking  to  increase  the  father's  support  obligation  due  to  an  increase  in  his  


----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

                

income.  Although the first notice of the motion that the mother sent to the father was  



                                                                                                         

procedurally defective, after the superior court notified the mother of the defects, she sent  



                                                           

a corrected notice.  The father did not respond to the motion to modify until the superior  



                                                

court informed him that it was prepared to award child support in the amount requested  



                            

by the  mother  if the father did not file an opposition.  The father then opposed the  



                                                                                                         

motion, providing his relevant pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns.  He also argued that the  



                                     

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protected him from adverse civil actions because he  



                                                                 

was actively serving in the United States Army and contended that the mother had not  



                                                                                                    

properly served him with notice of the modification proceeding.  Finally, he maintained  



that the superior court should deduct the Basic Allowance for Housing that the father  



                                                                                           

received as a servicemember from his income calculation.  The superior court modified  



the parties' child support award without holding a hearing, ordering the father to pay  



increased child support.  



                                                                                                                            

                     The father now appeals, raising three arguments.  He first contends that he  



                                             

was  entitled  to  a  stay  of  the  child  support  modification  proceeding  under  the  



                                                                                            

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.  But because he did not qualify for a stay under the  



Act, and because he actively participated in the proceeding, the superior court did not  



abuse its discretion in declining to issue a stay.   



                                                                                

                     The father next contends that his right to due process was violated because  



the mother did not use certified mail to serve him and because the superior court ordered  



                      

modification of child support without first holding a hearing.  But there was no due  



process violation:  The mother's corrected service of process satisfied the Alaska Rules  



                                                                                  

of Civil Procedure, the father had ample notice of the proceeding, and a hearing was not  



required in this case because there were no facts in dispute.  



                                                                    

                     The father finally argues that the superior court abused its discretion in  



                        

calculating his child support obligation to include his Basic Allowance for Housing.  But  



                                                                -2-                                                          6834
  


----------------------- Page 3-----------------------

the  superior  court  correctly  included  the  military   housing  allowance  in  the  father's  



adjusted income as Alaska Civil Rule 90.3 directs.  



                  We thus affirm the superior court's decisions in all respects.  



II.      FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS  



                  Joshua  and  Christina  Childs  were  married  in  Alaska  in  2002.    After  



dissolving their marriage in 2005, Joshua and Christina decided that Christina would  



have sole legal and physical custody of their two minor children.  A December 2005  



                                                                                       

child support order required Joshua to pay Christina $540.85 per month in support for  



both children.  



                                                       

                  Joshua began serving in the United States Army in 2006.  He served a tour  



of combat duty in Afghanistan from June 27 to September 30, 2011.  After returning  



from Afghanistan, Joshua was stationed at Fort Polk in Louisiana.  



                                                                 

                  On September 30, 2011, Christina filed a motion in the superior court to  



                                                              

modify child support, contending that Joshua's income had increased and that an upward  



modification was warranted.  Christina also submitted a child support guidelines affidavit  



in  which  she  estimated  that  Joshua's  monthly  child  support  obligation  should  be  



                      

$ 1,114.83.  But she acknowledged in the affidavit that she did not know Joshua's actual  



income.  



                  Because Christina failed to complete the certificate of service or sign the  

Notice of Motion to Change Custody, Support or Visitation,1 the superior court clerk  



promptly informed Christina that her notice was procedurally defective.  On October 6,  



         1        The   Notice   of   Motion  to  Change   Custody,   Support   or   Visitation  is  a  



document the Alaska Court System requires be sent to an   opposing party in a child  

custody, child support, or child visitation modification proceeding.  This form must  

accompany a copy of the actual motion submitted to the superior court requesting the  

change.  See ALASKA  COURT SYSTEM , http://www.courts.alaska.gov/forms/dr-701.pdf  

(last visited Sept. 5, 2013).  



                                                       -3-                                                 6834
  


----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

2011, Christina completed a new copy of the motion, this time signing and completing  



the certificate of service.  



                                                              

                   Initially, Joshua did not file an opposition to the motion to modify.  On  



                                                         

November 4, 2011, the superior court issued an order informing Joshua that it planned  



to  modify  the  standing  child  support  order  according  to  Christina's  estimation  of  



Joshua's income if Joshua did not file an opposition within ten days.  Joshua responded  



                   

by filing an opposition, which included a completed child support guidelines affidavit  



indicating  that  his  monthly  obligation  should  be  $521.59.    Joshua  also  submitted  



supporting  documentation  including  pay  stubs,  W-2s,  and  tax  returns.    Although  



                                                                                           

Joshua's  initial  opposition  was  determined  by  the  superior  court  to  be  technically  



                          

deficient, Joshua was given the opportunity to submit corrected documents, and he did  



so.  



                                                                                                       

                   In his opposition, Joshua argued that the Basic Allowance for Housing that  



the military provided to him and his family in Louisiana should not be factored into a  



                                                       

determination of his income because the allowance was not part of his take-home pay  



                                                                                                               

and instead went directly to offset the cost of housing.  He also argued that he had not  



received any documents from Christina via certified mail, and that "[a]ll information  



                                                                      

ha[d] come directly through the United State[s] Post Office to [his] mailbox," which he  



contended violated his right to due process.  And he argued that he was protected by the  



Servicemembers Civil Relief Act from civil litigation while he was on active military  



duty.  



                   On February 6, 2012, the superior court ordered modification of Joshua's  



         

child support obligation without first holding an evidentiary hearing.  Under the new  



            

award, Joshua was ordered to pay Christina $901 per month in child support for both  



children.  Joshua now appeals.  



                                                             -4-                                                      6834
  


----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

III.       STANDARD OF REVIEW  



                     We review a modification of child support for abuse of discretion, "which  



                                                                             

we will find only when, based on a review of the entire record, we are left with a definite  



                                                                                        2  

                                                                                                                        

and firm conviction that the trial court made a mistake."                                  But a trial court's decision as  



                                                                                                    

to the proper method of calculating child support "is a question of law, which we review  



                               

de novo, adopting the rule of law that is most persuasive in light of precedent, reason,  



                    3  

and policy."    



                                                                                                                                 4 

                     We review a trial court's procedural decisions for abuse of discretion.   But  



                                            

a trial court's decision not to hold an evidentiary hearing is subject to our independent  



            5  

                                                                                                        

review.        And whether a trial court violated a party's due process rights is a question of  

law, which we review de novo.6  



                                                                                                       

                     A trial court's interpretation of the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil  



                                                                                                                                        7  

                                                        

Relief Act is a matter of law, which we review de novo using our independent judgment. 



We have not previously addressed the standard that governs the review of a trial court's  



           2         Swaney v. Granger, 297 P.3d 132, 136 (Alaska 2013) (citing                                       Faulkner v.  



Goldfuss, 46 P.3d 993, 996 (Alaska 2002)).  



           3         Id. (citing Faulkner , 46 P.3d at 996).  



           4  

                                                          

                     Brotherton v. Warner , 240 P.3d 1225, 1228 (Alaska 2010) (citing Rockstad  

v. Erikson , 113 P.3d 1215, 1220 (Alaska 2005)).  



           5         Hartley v. Hartley , 205 P.3d 342, 346 (Alaska 2009).  



           6  

                                                                                                           

                     Helen S.K. v. Samuel M.K. , 288 P.3d 463, 473 (Alaska 2012) (citing James  

v. State, Dep't of Corr., 260 P.3d 1046, 1050 (Alaska 2011)).  



           7         See Estate of Kim ex rel. Alexander v. Coxe, 295 P.3d 380, 386 (Alaska  



                                                                                                      

2013) (citing State v. Native Vill. of Tanana, 249 P.3d 734, 737 (Alaska 2011); John v.  

                                                                                         

Baker ,  982  P.2d  738,  744  (Alaska  1999))  (applying  our  independent  judgment  to  

interpretation of a federal statute).  



                                                                  -5-                                                            6834
  


----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

                                                                        

decision whether to stay a proceeding under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.  In  



                             

                                                                                             

Boone v. Lightner , the United States Supreme Court reviewed a trial court's decision not  



                                                                                                       

to continue a proceeding under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, the  



                                                                                                         8 

                                                                                                            We have also  

precursor to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, for abuse of discretion. 



recognized that the abuse of discretion standard governs the review of a trial court's  



                                                                                 9  

                                                                                    We therefore conclude that a  

decision whether to stay a proceeding in other contexts. 



trial court's decision whether to grant a stay under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act  



is reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard.   



IV.       DISCUSSION  



          A.        There Was No Violation Of The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.  



                                                                                     

                    Joshua argues that he should not have been required to participate in this  



                                                                                              

child support modification matter because he is a member of the military on active duty.  



                                      

But the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, on which Joshua relies, does not preclude all  



civil actions against members of the military.  The Act "provide[s] for the temporary  



suspension  of  judicial  and  administrative  proceedings  and  transactions  that  may  



          8         319 U.S. 561, 575 (1943); see also  Shelor v. Shelor, 383 S.E.2d 895, 896  



(Ga. 1989) ("A trial   court has a large degree of discretion in determining whether to  

grant a stay under t  he [  Soldiers' a   nd Sailors' Ci            vil Relief] Act." (citing Boone , 319 U.S.  

at  575)).  But  see  Lackey  v.  Lackey ,   278  S.E.2d  811,   812  (Va.   1981)  (per  curiam)  

(reviewing trial court's  denial  of  a servicemember's  request  for a continuance  for clear  

error).   



          9        See, e.g., Stone v. Int'l Marine Carriers, Inc., 918 P.2d 551, 554 (Alaska  



                                                           

1996) (applying the abuse of discretion standard to a trial court's ruling on a motion to  

                                                                        

stay  discovery);  Powell  v.  City  of  Anchorage ,  536  P.2d  1228,  1229  (Alaska  1975)  

                                                                                                                 

(stating that whether a stay of an injunction pending appeal will be granted is a question  

                                                                                       

directed to the sound discretion of the superior court); see also State, Dep't of Transp.  

     

& Pub. Facilities v. Miller , 145 P.3d 521, 528 (Alaska 2006) (reviewing a denial of a  

continuance for abuse of discretion).   



                                                             -6-                                                       6834
  


----------------------- Page 7-----------------------

adversely  affect  the  civil  rights  of  servicemembers  during  their  military  service."10  



                                    

Relevant to this appeal, the Act allows for an active duty servicemember to seek a stay  



                       11 

                                                                                                                       

of a civil action.         If an active duty servicemember wishes to stay a proceeding, he or she  



                                                                                                                      

can seek a stay in the superior court by complying with the specific requirements set out  



in  522(b)(2) of the Act, which provides:  



                   An application for a stay . . . shall include the following:  



                             (A)       A letter or other communication setting forth  

                   facts  stating  the  manner  in  which  current  military  duty  

                   requirements materially affect the servicemember's ability to  

                   appear and stating a date when the servicemember will be  

                   available to appear.  



                                                                    

                             (B)       A  letter  or  other  communication  from  the  

                    servicemember's            commanding            officer      stating     that    the  

                    servicemember's current military duty prevents appearance  



          10        50 U.S.C. app.  502(2) (Supp. 2013).                    The Act defines a servicemember   



as a member of the uniformed services.   50 U.S.C. app.  511(1).  The term "uniformed       

services" means any member of the armed forces, which includes the Army, Navy, Air  

Force,  Marine  Corps,  and  Coast  Guard.    10  U.S.C.    101(a)(4)-(5)  (2010).    And  a  

servicemember will be deemed to be in military service if the servicemember is on active  

duty.  50 U.S.C. app.  511(2)(A)(i).  "[A]ctive duty" is defined as "full-time duty in the  

                                                                                                                

active military service of the United States."  10 U.S.C.  101(d)(1).  The parties do not  

                                                                                                    

dispute that at the time of the proceeding Joshua was a member of the armed forces,  

                                        

actively serving in the United States Army.  



          11        50 U.S.C. app.  522(a) provides:  



                   This  section  applies  to  any  civil  action  or  proceeding,  

                                                             

                   including any child custody proceeding, in which the plaintiff  

                                                                      

                   or defendant at the time of filing  an application under this  

                    section -  



                             (1)       is in military service or is within 90 days after  

                   termination of or release from military service; and  



                                                                    

                             (2)       has received notice of the action or proceeding.  



                                                             -7-                                                       6834
  


----------------------- Page 8-----------------------

                                                                                             

                    and     that     military       leave      is   not     authorized         for    the  

                    servicemember at the time of the letter.  



Thus before issuing a stay under the Act, the trial court is required to  consider whether  



                                                           

a servicemember's ability to participate in a civil action would be materially affected by  



                                         12  

                                                                                                                   

the servicemember's duties.                  Although our prior decisions relating to the Act have not  



                                        

dealt specifically with the requirements of  522(b)(2), numerous courts, including the  



United States Supreme Court, have concluded that a servicemember invoking a stay  



under the Act must make a showing that the servicemember's rights or ability to present  

a defense would be materially affected by the servicemember's military duties.13                                           A  



servicemember is not entitled to a stay simply by virtue of serving in the armed forces;  



          12        50 U.S.C. app.  522(b)(2).  



          13        See, e.g., Boone , 319 U.S. at 572-73 (holding that the mere showing that  



the defendant was in Washington, D.C. in military service did not render a continuance  

                                                   

mandatory where the defendant's ability to conduct a defense was not materially affected  

by his military service); Hackman v. Postel, 675 F. Supp. 1132, 1133-34 (N.D. Ill. 1988)  

                                                                          

("[A] stay is not mandated simply because the moving party is in the military service.  

Courts interpreting  521 have observed that for the movant to invoke the protection of  

the Act, he must make a showing of his actual unavailability and that his rights would  

                  

be adversely affected by virtue of his absence from trial." (citing Johnson v. Johnson ,  

 139 P.2d 33, 42 (Cal. App. 1943))); Christine M. v. Superior Court, 82 Cal. Rptr. 2d 220,  

                                                                          

227 (Cal. App. 1999) (applying provision of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act  

                        

to find no abuse of juvenile court's discretion in denying a stay "where a 'father failed  

to demonstrate he was unable to comply with [a court-ordered parenting plan] by reason  

of  his  attendance  in  the  military  and  that  a  stay  was  needed  to  protect  the  father's  

interests or to permit him to defend the action' ");  Wilson v. Butler ex rel. Butler, 584  

                                                                                                    

So. 2d 414, 417 (Miss. 1991) (finding no error by trial court in rendering a paternity  

                                                           

judgment against a father who did not present any evidence of his inability to defend  

himself in court as a consequence of his military service); Palo v. Palo, 299 N.W.2d 577,  

                                                                                           

579 (S.D. 1980) (affirming a denial of continuance on grounds that appellant failed to  

                 

show that he was unable to obtain leave or had even tried to obtain leave and therefore  

had not shown his actual unavailability or that his rights would be adversely affected by  

                                                                    

his absence at trial).  



                                                             -8-                                                       6834
  


----------------------- Page 9-----------------------

the servicemember must show that, due to military service, the servicemember's ability  



to raise a claim or defense would be prejudiced if a stay were denied.  



                                                                                                      

                     Joshua does not argue on appeal that his ability to participate in the child  



                                                                                                                              

support modification proceeding was materially affected by his military service. And the  



            

record  does  not  include  any  evidence,  such  as  a  communication  from  Joshua's  



commanding officer, suggesting that his military duties prevented him from participating  



                                                       

in the proceeding.  In fact, Joshua actually participated in the modification proceeding,  



filing  an  opposition  in  the  superior  court,  raising  legal  arguments,  and  providing  



                                                                                                          

supporting documents including pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns.  Joshua therefore was  



                                                                                

not entitled to invoke a stay under  522(b)(2) of the Act.  Under these circumstances,  



                                                          

the  superior  court  did  not  abuse  its  discretion  in  not  staying  the  child  support  



                                        14  

modification proceeding.                    



           B.        Joshua's Right To Due Process Was Not Violated.  



                     1.         Joshua had notice of the child support proceeding.  



                     Joshua  argues  that  the  superior  court's  child  support  award  should  be  



                              

reversed because Christina sent him a procedurally defective notice of her motion to  



           14        Joshua argued in the superior court that "under the Servicemembers Civil     



Relief Act, adverse actions are not allowed against active duty officers" and that the Act  

"affords the active duty and deployed time to serve their country."  These statements may  

                                             

have provided the superior court with sufficient information to trigger a duty to inform  

                                                      

Joshua of the proper procedure to secure a stay under the Act.  See, e.g.,  Larson v. State,  

Dep't of Corr. , 284 P.3d 1, 8 (Alaska 2012) ("The pleadings of pro se litigants are 'held  

                                                                                                                            

to less stringent standards than those of lawyers,' and the superior court must 'inform a  

                                                                                            

pro se litigant of the proper procedure for the action he or she is obviously attempting to  

                                                                        

accomplish.' " (quoting Capolicchio v. Levy, 194 P.3d 373, 378 (Alaska 2008))).  But  

even if the superior court had informed Joshua of the proper procedures, and even if  

                                                                                                    

Joshua had then complied with these procedures, Joshua would not have been able to  

                    

obtain a stay under the Act because the record shows that he actively participated in the  

                                                                                     

proceeding.  



                                                                  -9-                                                            6834
  


----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

                                                                                              

modify child support, which violated his right to due process.  Christina acknowledges  



                                                         

that "she lacked one signature on the original submission of the motion to modify," but  



                                                                                                                 

she points out that she remedied this omission after the superior court told her to do so  



and that she mailed Joshua a signed copy of the motion on October 6, 2011.  



                    Joshua argues that "[t]here is no proof of any process server, certified mail  



                                                                                                                             

or otherwise being delivered to the Childs' residence regarding the modification."  But  



                                                                        

we have previously held that Alaska Civil Rule 5 provides the appropriate procedure for  



serving an opposing party in a proceeding to modify the terms of a standing child support  



         15  

order.       And Civil Rule 5(b) permits service of a motion to modify "by mailing it to  

                                                      16   Civil Rule 5 further provides that "[m]ailing of a  

the . . . party's last known address."                                                   



copy means mailing it by first class United States mail.  Service by mail is complete upon  

                                                                                  



              17  

mailing."         In the trial court, Joshua complained that "[a]ll information ha[d] come  

                                                                                              



directly  through  the  United  State[s]  Post  Office  to  [his]  mailbox."    But  by  mailing  

                                                                                 



through the United States mail, Christina complied with Civil Rule 5.  



                                                                                   

                    To comply with due process, notice must be given sufficiently in advance  



                                                                                                             

of  scheduled  court  proceedings  so  that  the  parties  have  a  reasonable  opportunity  to  



            18  

                 Here, Joshua had ample notice of Christina's motion to modify.  Christina  

prepare.                                     



remedied her first procedurally defective notice by correcting and re-sending the required  



          15        Crumpler v. State, Dep't of Revenue, 117 P.3d 730, 733 (Alaska 2005) (per     



curiam) (citing Balchen v. Balchen, 566 P.2d 1324, 1327 (Alaska 1977)).  



          16        Alaska R. Civ. P. 5(b).  



          17        Id.  



          18        Fidler v. Fidler , 296 P.3d 11, 13 n.5 (Alaska 2013) (citing Doe v. State , 487  



P.2d 47, 57 (Alaska 1971)); see also Aguchak v. Montgomery Ward Co., 520 P.2d 1352,  

                                                                                             

1356 (Alaska 1974) (holding that due process requires notice of a hearing sufficient to  

                                                                                              

convey information required to present objections).  



                                                              -10-                                                         6834
  


----------------------- Page 11-----------------------

documents  to  Joshua  on  October  6,  2011.    The  superior  court  issued  an  order  on  

                                                                                                             

November 4, 2011,19 nearly 30 days after Christina mailed Joshua the corrected notice,  

                                                              



giving  Joshua  10  additional  days  to  file  an  opposition  to  Christina's  motion.    The  



                                                                                                           

superior  court  received  Joshua's  initial  opposition  on  November  16,  2011  and  his  



                                                                  

corrected opposition on December 5, 2011. Joshua had an opportunity to make his legal  



                                                                                                           

arguments and submit relevant financial documents.  The superior court then issued the  



                                                                  

order modifying child support on February 6, 2012.  Because the record indicates that  



Joshua had notice of the modification proceedings with sufficient time to prepare and  



             

present his  arguments  to  the  superior  court,  we  conclude  that  Joshua's  right  to  due  

process was not violated for lack of notice.20  



                    2.       There were no disputed facts to merit a hearing.  



                    Joshua also argues that the superior court should have held an evidentiary  

                                                 



hearing before ordering the modification of child support in this case and that failure to  

                       



do so violated due process.  Joshua maintains that he was "never given the opportunity  

                                           



to speak or be present at any hearing regarding child support."  But "[a] hearing is not  



                                                             21  

required  for  all  child  support  disputes."                     And  we  have  held  that  a  hearing  is  not  

necessary if there is no genuine issue of material fact before the superior court.22  

                                                                                                                         



          19        The superior court clerk's certificate of service stated that the order was  



mailed to Joshua on November 7, 2011.  



          20        Because Joshua's right to due process was not violated, his argument that  



Christina "intentionally inflicted financial distress on [him] because there was no due  

process" is without merit.  



          21        Turinsky v. Long, 910 P.2d 590, 594 (Alaska 1996).  



          22        See id. (concluding that the superior court did not err in awarding child  



support without a hearing where the parties did not argue that the adjusted income levels  

                                                                                    

used by the superior court were inaccurate).  



                                                             -11-                                                       6834
  


----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

                    Joshua and Christina did not dispute the accuracy of the income information  



                                                                        

that Joshua had presented to the superior court.  Instead, the parties took different legal  



               

positions on the deductions from income permitted under Civil Rule 90.3.  Because the  



parties disputed only the legal question whether Joshua's housing and meal allowances  



should have been included in his adjusted income under Civil Rule 90.3, the superior  



court was faced only with a question of law and was therefore not required to hold an  

evidentiary hearing.23  



                                                                                               

          C.	       The  Superior  Court's  Child  Support  Award  Complied  With  The  

                                                                                                           

                    Parental Income Guidelines In Alaska Civil Rule 90.3.  



                    Joshua next argues that his Basic Allowance for Housing should not be  



                                            

included in the calculation of his income for the purpose of determining his child support  



                                                            

obligation because the allowance is not reflected in his gross pay.  Christina argues that  



                                                                                                     

the superior court did not err in calculating Joshua's child support obligation because  



Civil Rule 90.3 includes military housing allowances within the definition of adjusted  



annual income for the purpose of calculating child support.  



                    Civil Rule 90.3 provides that a trial court must calculate a "parent's total  



                                      24  

income from all sources."                  As we observed in Berkbigler v. Berkbigler , the question  



whether a military housing allowance qualifies as income is expressly addressed by the  

                                                                       



                                                25  

commentary to Civil Rule 90.3.                      Specifically, the commentary advises that income  

                                 



includes "Armed Service Members base pay plus the obligor's allowances for quarters,  



          23        See,  e.g.,  id.;  Douglas  v.   State,  Dep't  of  Revenue ,  880  P.2d  113,  117  



(Alaska 1994) (concluding that mother's due process rights were not violated when the           

superior  court  addressed  purely  legal  issues  in  assessing  mother's  child  support  

obligation and did not hold an evidentiary hearing).  



          24        See Alaska R. Civ. P. 90.3(a)(1).  



          25        921 P.2d 628, 631 (Alaska 1996).  



                                                             -12-	                                                       6834
  


----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

                                                      26 

                                                                                                      

rations, COLA and specialty pay"                         and "perquisites or in-kind compensation to the  



                                                                                                           

extent that they are significant and reduce living expenses, including but not limited to  



                                                                                          27  

employer provided housing (including military housing)."                                       



                     Joshua reported that in 2011 he received a Basic Allowance for Housing  



                                          

of  $10,872.    Joshua  does  not  dispute  that  the  Basic  Allowance  for  Housing  is  "an  



                      

allowance  to  offset the cost of housing when [a member of the military] do[es] not  



                                                               28  

receive  government-provided  housing."                               In  fact,  he  asserted  on  appeal  that  the  



                                    

allowance "is used to provide housing for [his] current immediate family."  Joshua's  



                                                                                                                          

Basic Allowance for Housing thus constitutes income under Civil Rule 90.3 and the  



                                                                                                                                   29  

                                                                         

superior court did not err by including it in the calculation of the child support award. 



V.        CONCLUSION  



                                                                                              

                     Because Joshua did not qualify for a stay under the Servicemembers Civil  



                                                         

Relief Act, and because the superior court did not otherwise err in ordering modification  



          26         Alaska R. Civ. P. 90.3 cmt. III.A.28.  



          27        Id. cmt. III.A.19.  



          28         Office  of   the  Sec'y   of  Def.,  Basic  Allowance  for  Housing,  MILITARY  



COMPENSATION , http://militarypay.defense.gov/pay/bah/index.html (last visited June 26,  

2013).  



          29  

                                                                            

                     Joshua also claims for the first time on appeal that his Basic Allowance for  

                                 

Subsistence  should  not  have  been  included  in  the  calculation  of  his  child  support  

                                                                                                                              

obligation.  We decline to reach this contention because Joshua did not first raise it in the  

                                                                                   

superior court.  Preblich v. Zorea , 996 P.2d 730, 736 n.17 (Alaska 2000) (" 'Ordinarily  

                                                                                     

an issue which was not raised in the trial court will not be treated on appeal.' " (quoting  

                                                                                                      

Padgett v. Theus , 484 P.2d 697, 700 (Alaska 1971))).  And Joshua has not provided any  

                                                                                       

argument  or  citation  to  legal  authority  to  support  his  position.    See  Sengul  v.  CMS  

                        

Franklin, Inc., 265 P.3d 320, 330 (Alaska 2011) (concluding that appellant abandoned  

                                                        

issues because he "failed to provide any more than cursory briefing devoid of citation to  

legal authority" (citations omitted)).  



                                                               -13-                                                          6834
  


----------------------- Page 14-----------------------

of Joshua's child support obligation in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Civil                                                



Rule 90.3, we AFFIRM the superior court's decision modifying child support.  



                                                                                                                                                           -14-                                                                                                                               6834
  

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