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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Villars v. Villars (10/31/2014) sp-6964

Villars v. Villars (10/31/2014) sp-6964

         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  



RICHARD J. VILLARS,                                    )  

                                                       )         Supreme Court No. S-15280  

                            Appellant,                 )  

                                                       )         Superior Court No. 4FA-07-02606 CI  

         v.                                            )  

                                                       )         O P I N I O N  

OLGA H. VILLARS,                                       )  

                                                       )         No. 6964 - October 31, 2014  

                            Appellee.                  )  

                                                       )  



                  Appeal  from  the  Superior  Court  of  the  State  of  Alaska,  

                  Fourth  Judicial  District,  Fairbanks,  Douglas  Blankenship,  

                                                                       

                  Judge.  



                  Appearances:  Richard J. Villars, pro se, Marrero, Louisiana,  

                                                                  

                  Appellant.  No appearance by Appellee.  



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

                                

                  Bolger, Justices.  



                  FABE, Chief Justice.  



I.       INTRODUCTION  



                  Richard and Olga Villars were married in Ukraine in 2004.  Richard, who  

                                                               



is a U.S. citizen, signed a Form I-864 affidavit of support in which he agreed to maintain  



Olga and her daughter, Linda, at 125% of the applicable federal poverty rate.  Olga and  

                                                                                          


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

Linda came to Alaska, and Richard and Olga later divorced.  For several years Richard  



and Olga have been litigating Richard's I-864 support obligation.  



                    After a previous appeal by Olga regarding Richard's obligation for the first  



                                                                     

eleven months of 2010, we remanded the case to the superior court to resolve Richard's  



obligation for that period, which is no longer at issue.  



                    The parties have continued to dispute Richard's I-864  obligations for 2009,  



                                          

December 2010, and all of 2011, 2012, and 2013.  Following a series of hearings and  



                    

orders in the superior court relating to these years, Richard filed this appeal, alleging a  



variety of errors by the superior court regarding its calculations of his obligations and  



                                                                                                       

potential offsets against those obligations.  Because the superior court properly rejected  



                                                                                                           

Richard's  attempt  to  relitigate  issues  resolved  in  earlier  proceedings,  we  affirm  the  



superior court's orders rejecting those claims.  We remand for further factual findings  



on issues not yet resolved.  



II.       FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS  



          A.        Facts And Proceedings Related To The First Appeal  



                                                                                 

                    Many of the relevant facts in this case are the same as those in the previous  



                                                                                        1  

case involving the same parties, Villars v. Villars ( Villars I).   Our decision in that case  



                                                                                                           

provides much of the factual background relevant to the present appeal:  



                                                                                        

                    Richard and Olga were married in December 2004 in Kiev,  

                                                                    

                    Ukraine.  Olga moved to Alaska in July 2005 with her minor  

                    daughter, Linda, to be with Richard.  As Olga's immigration  

                    sponsor,  Richard  filed  an  INS  Form  I-864  affidavit  of  

                    support, in which he agreed to maintain Olga and Linda "at  

                                                                                              



          1         305 P.3d 321 (Alaska 2013).  A third case by the same name involved the  

                                                                                                     

same former husband but a different former wife.  See Villars v. Villars, 277 P.3d 763  

                                                                                  

(Alaska 2012).  Because the 2012 case is of limited relevance here, we denote the 2013  

case  Villars I.  

        



                                                             -2-                                                           6964  


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

          an income that is at least 125 percent of the Federal poverty  

                           [2] 

          guidelines."  



          Richard  and  Olga  divorced  on  January  12,  2009.    Their  

          divorce  decree  incorporated  Richard's  support  obligations  

         under his I-864 affidavit and calculated monthly payments  

         based on the federal poverty level for a two-person household  

                        

          in Alaska.  



          On February 22, 2009, Olga and Linda moved to California.  

          There  Olga  married  George  Nasif  on  October  18,  2009.  

          Olga's  daughter  Linda  moved  to  Louisiana  to  live  with  

                     

          Richard from December 2009 until June 14, 2010, under a  

         temporary guardianship agreement.   



          Olga's home life was unsettled during 2010, the only year at  

                                                                 

          issue here.  She and George maintained separate residences  

          for  much  of  the  year;  at  one  point  George  secured  a  

         restraining  order  against  her.             Olga  was  evicted  from  her  

                                                                       

          apartment in April and moved into a motel, where she lived  

                                                                                   

          for several months until moving into another apartment with  

                                                               

          George and Linda.  Olga's marriage to George was annulled  

          in November 2010.  



          Richard did not make any support payments to Olga for the  

          first eleven months of 2010.  Olga filed a motion in Alaska to  

                                                                     

          enforce the divorce decree, and Richard made payments for  

                                                                             

          December 2010 and January 2011 pursuant to a temporary  

          support order.  His obligations for the first eleven months of  

                                                            

          2010 were resolved at trial. . . .  



          Trial  was  held  in  superior  court  in  Fairbanks  in  February  

          2011;  both  parties  attended  telephonically.    After  hearing  

          from  Richard,  Olga,  and  George,  the  court  made  written  

                                                

          findings of fact and conclusions of law.  The court first ruled  

                                 

         that Richard's 2010 support payments should be determined  

                                                   

         by the federal poverty level in California, not Alaska. The  

          court ruled further that the payments would be determined by  

                                                



2        See 8 U.S.C.  1183a (2012).  



                                                  -3-                                                      6964  


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

                   the federal poverty level for a single-person household, not  

                   a  two-person  household,  for  the  months  Linda  was  living  

                   with Richard.  Finally, the court ruled that Richard's support  

                                                                                  

                   obligation  would  be  offset  by  the  amount  of  support  that  

                                    

                   George provided to Olga and Linda during 2010. With some  

                                                                                             

                   inconsistencies . . . , George testified at trial that his 2010  

                                                                                        

                   income was approximately $24,000, and that he spent this  

                   entire amount to support Olga, Linda, and himself.  The trial  

                                                                                               

                   court   credited   this   testimony   and   calculated   an   offset  

                   assuming that all of George's income went to pay all of the  

                   family's living expenses. Accordingly, the trial court divided  

                                                          

                   George's  income  evenly  between  him  and  Olga  for  the  

                   months Linda was away and among the three of them for the  

                   months she was there, for a total of $14,202.80 in support  

                                                                                            

                   from George for Olga and Linda.  



                   After a few other minor adjustments - $175 in income that  

                                                                               

                   Olga made in a few days of work and $275.90 "at minimum"  

                   in qualifying support that Richard paid toward the end of the  

                                                                                             

                   year - the trial court found that Richard owed no further  

                    support for 2010. . . .  



                   On appeal, Olga raise[d] many objections to the trial court's  

                                                                  

                   findings . . . . Olga challenge[d] the trial court's decision to  

                                                                    

                   account for California's lower federal poverty rate and for  

                   Linda's absence from the household for part of the year when  

                                                                                        

                   calculating Richard's support obligations.  She challenge[d]  

                                                                                   

                   the trial court's use of George's support to offset Richard's  

                    support  obligation.    She  also  contest[ed]  the  trial  court's  

                   finding as to the amount of support that George provided.  

                   Olga also argue[d] that the income she earned in 2010 should  

                                                                                          

                                                                                  [3] 

                   not be used to offset Richard's obligations.  



                   We  concluded  in  Villars  I  that  the  superior  court  correctly  adjusted  



Richard's  support  obligations  to  account  for  Olga's  move  to  California,  Linda's  



          3         Villars I, 305 P.3d at 323-24 (footnote omitted).  



                                                             -4-                                                       6964  


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

                                                                                                      4  

temporary absence from Olga's household, and Olga's earnings.   We noted that the  



findings of fact and conclusions of law accompanying the couple's 2009 divorce decree  



                                                                                                                  

"incorporated Richard's support obligations under the INS Form I-864 affidavit and  



                                                                                            5 

stipulated that this obligation was governed by federal law,"  which required Richard to 

                                                                         



maintain Olga and Linda "at an annual income that is not less than 125 percent of the  



                                  6  

Federal poverty line."   Remarking that "a sponsor is required to pay only the difference  



                                                                                                                                     7  

                                                                             

between the sponsored non-citizen's income and . . . 125% of [the] poverty threshold," 



and citing federal court precedent as indicating that "a sponsor's support obligations  



                                                                                                                              8  

                                                                                                                                 we  

must  be  adjusted  downward  when  a  family  member  leaves  the  household," 



                                                       

concluded that the superior court  properly reduced Richard's support obligations to  



                                                                                                        9  

account for the time Linda lived with Richard instead of with Olga.   



                     We also determined in  Villars I that the superior court erred in calculating  

                                                                                   



the contributions of support by George, Olga's new husband, to Olga and Linda.  We  



remarked  that  "George  testified,  in  apparent  contradiction,  that  (1)  he  contributed  



                                                                                                          

$24,000 to the support of Olga and Linda during 2010, and (2) that his entire earnings  



          4         Id. at 325.
  



          5         Id.
  



          6         Id. (quoting  8 U.S.C.  1183a(a)(1)(A)).
  



          7         Id. (quoting Barnett v. Barnett , 238 P.3d 594, 598 (Alaska 2010)) (internal
   



quotation marks omitted).  



          8         Id. (citing Nasir v. Shah , No. 2:10-cv-01003,  2012 WL 4342986, at *3-4  

                                                                                             

(S.D. Ohio Sept. 21, 2012); Stump v. Stump, No. 1:04-CV-253-TS, 2005 WL 2757329,  

                                                                      

at *6 (N.D. Ind. Oct. 25, 2005)).  



          9         Id.  



                                                                 -5-                                                          6964
  


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

                                                                                                   10  

for 2010 were $24,000, of which some went to his own support."                                         Observing that  



                                                                                   

George's support was "sporadic and variable due to the significant disruptions in their  



living     arrangements           during      [2010],"       we     concluded         that    the    superior       court's  



                                                                                                      

approximation of George's contributions was not sufficiently precise and remanded for  

a more accurate calculation.11  



                                     12 

                                                                                    

                   On remand,           the superior court calculated more precisely the qualifying  



support that Olga received in 2010.  The superior court looked to Olga's wages, the  



support she received from George for various expenses, and the support she received  



                       

from Richard.  It determined that these resources exceeded the amount that Richard was  



                                                      

obligated to provide pursuant to his I-864 affidavit and concluded that Richard had no  



further obligation to Olga for 2010.  



                                                   

                   Although the parties had begun to litigate Richard's obligations for years  



                                                

other than 2010 before Villars I was decided, that case addressed Richard's obligations  



                                                                                                        13  

                                                                                                             The present  

only for 2010 - indeed only for the first eleven months of that year.  



                                                                                               

appeal relates to Richard's obligations for 2009, the last month of 2010, and 2011, 2012,  



and 2013.  



          10       Id. at 326.  



          11       Id. at 326-27.  Olga also argued in  Villars I that the superior court erred in  



its evidentiary rulings and that it denied her due process.  Id. at 324.  We concluded that  

                                                                                                    

Olga's  evidentiary  claims  were  moot,  id.  at  327  n.15,  and  rejected  her  due  process  

                                        

arguments.  Id. at 327-28.  



          12        Villars v. Villars, No. 4FA-07-02606 CI (Alaska Super., June 3, 2014).  



          13       See Villars I, 305 P.3d at 323-24.  Richard now seeks reimbursement for  



the amount he paid Olga for December 2010 - a matter not addressed in  Villars I.  



                                                             -6-                                                       6964
  


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

         B.	       The Superior Court's March 29, 2011 Order Regarding Richard's  

                   Post-2010 Obligations  



                   In the superior court's March 29, 2011 order concluding that Richard owed  



Olga nothing further for 2010, which was the basis for Olga's appeal in  Villars I, the  

                                                                                                                      

superior court also calculated Richard's obligations for 2011 and future years.14                                   For  



                                    

2011  the  superior  court  determined  that  Richard  should  provide  Olga  125%  of  the  



                                                                       

applicable federal poverty guideline for a family of two persons, or $1,532.29 per month.  



For future years, the superior court directed the parties to calculate Richard's support  



obligation on their own, using the applicable federal poverty guidelines minus offsets.  



         C.	       The   Parties   Dispute   Richard's   Post-2010   Obligations;   Richard  

                   Attempts To Secure Partial Reimbursement Of His 2011 Payments.  



                                                                            

                   Throughout 2012 and the spring of 2013, Olga filed various motions asking  



the superior court to order Richard to make support payments to her.  Olga framed her  



motions in terms of enforcement of the divorce decree provisions regarding Richard's  



                                                                                   

I-864 support obligations, and also in terms of enforcement of the superior court's orders  



                                                                          

since the divorce.  Richard opposed Olga's motions and in April 2013 filed a motion of  



his own seeking reimbursement of a portion of his support payments for 2011; he alleged  



that Olga earned income in 2011 but failed to disclose it, causing him to overpay her by  



$4,163.60.  



                                                      

         D.	       The  Superior  Court's  June  20,  2013  Order  Attempting  To  Settle  

                   Richard's  2013  Obligation  And  Rejecting  Richard's  Request  For  

                                                                                          

                   Partial Reimbursement Of His 2011 Payments  



                   The  superior  court  issued  various  orders  regarding  Richard's  support  



                                                                                                        

obligations for years other than 2010, some while Villars I was pending.  In May 2013  



         14  

                                                                            

                   According to the divorce decree, absent a change in the applicable federal  

law,   Richard's   support   obligation   pursuant   to   his   I-864   affidavit   will   end   on  

December 18, 2014.  



                                                           -7-	                                                      6964  


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

                                                                                                                         

the superior court held a hearing on the motions filed as of that time and not yet resolved,  



and on June 20 it issued the order that is the main source of the present appeal.  



                        In  its  June  20  order  the  superior  court  recounted  the  findings  of  fact  



incorporated  into  the  divorce  decree  and  noted  that  the  parties  stipulated  to  those  



findings.  The order included the finding that Richard signed an I-864 affidavit in which  



                               

he  "agree[d]  to  pay  the  sponsored  immigrant(s)  whatever  support  is  necessary  to  



                                                                                                                                                  

maintain the sponsored immigrant(s) at an income that is at least 125 percent of the  



Federal Poverty Guidelines."   



                                                                     

                        The superior court also observed that in early 2013 Richard unilaterally  



                                                                          

reduced his 2013 payments based on his assumption of what Olga's household earnings  



would be for that year.  The superior court considered Richard's recalculation to be "an  



effort to minimize his obligation by imputing a mitigation responsibility to [Olga]," a  



                                                                                                                                     

responsibility that the superior court concluded was incompatible with the purpose of the  



I-864 scheme.  The superior court determined that based on the 2013 federal poverty  



                                                                                                                           

guidelines, Richard's annual obligation for 2013 was $19,387.50, or $1,615.63 monthly  



                                                         15  

(before any applicable offsets).                             



                        To  verify  Olga's  claim  that  she  had  no  sources  of  support  other  than  



Richard,  the  superior  court  ordered  Olga  to  provide  the  court  and  Richard  with  



                      

documents  that  detailed  her  financial  aid  package  at  a  college  she  was  attending  in  



                                                                     

California.    It  also  ordered  her  to  provide  documentation  of  any  change  in  her  



employment or income status.  



            15          The superior court identified this amount in the section of its June 20, 2013   



order in which it presented its calculations, but in the final portion of that order the   

superior court substituted the number from its March 29, 2011 order - $1,532.29 - in  

place of $1,615.63.  Olga alerted the superior court to the error, and in its September 19  

                                                                                   

order, the superior court corrected the error, harmonizing the two sections of the June 20  

                                   

order.   



                                                                            -8-                                                                     6964
  


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

                                          

                     The superior court rejected Richard's argument that his obligation should  



be reduced in proportion to any public assistance Olga had received.  Noting that the  



                   

purpose  of  the  I-864  scheme  is  to  prevent  the  admission  of  an  immigrant  likely  to  



                                         

become  a  public  charge,  the  superior  court  concluded  that  "[i]f  [Olga]  did  receive  



means-tested public assistance, it is because the support she received [from Richard was]  



inadequate."  



                                                                                                                          

                     With regard to Richard's motion for reimbursement of $4,163.60 to offset  



                                                                                          

income Olga allegedly earned and failed to report in 2011, the superior court determined  



                                                                                                                

that permitting Richard to offset his current payments would undermine the purpose of  



                                              

the I-864 affidavit. The court reasoned that reducing Richard's payments by the amount  



                                               

necessary  for  him  to  recoup  his  alleged  overpayment  would  mean  reducing  Olga's  



                                                                                                           

support by approximately 25%, leaving Olga without the minimum financial support  



                                                                

necessary to prevent her from becoming a public charge.  The superior court therefore  



                                                                                                          

rejected Richard's request for reimbursement of a portion of his 2011 support payments.  



                                                                                                            

                     Richard  next  filed  a  motion  asking  the  superior  court  to  reconsider  its  



                                                                                                

June 20 order and shortly afterward filed a "motion for relief," also in the superior court.  



                                                                                          

He made several overlapping claims in the motions:   (1) that he was not obligated to  



                                                                                                                   

Olga at all, because in fact no I-864 existed; (2) that even if one existed, he could not be  



liable to her because liability under I-864 depends on the sponsored immigrant receiving  



                                                                                                         

permanent-resident status, and there was no evidence Olga had been granted such status;  



                               

(3) that the parties' premarital agreement, under which the parties allegedly waived any  



rights to spousal support, barred Olga's claims; (4) that although the superior court had  



                                                                                                                    

calculated offsets in detail for 2010, it had not done so (but should) for 2009, 2011, 2012,  



and 2013; (5) that the superior court's order improperly failed to require Olga's now- 



                                                                                            

adult daughter, Linda, to disclose her resources; and (6) that because Linda had not made  



a claim in court against Richard, he should not be obligated to provide support to her.  



                                                                -9-                                                          6964
  


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

                                                                    

                   The superior court rejected most of the arguments Richard raised in his  



motions.  With regard to Richard's argument that no I-864 existed, the superior court  



concluded that because Richard stipulated to the findings of fact in the divorce decree  



- which included the finding that he signed an I-864 affidavit - he was estopped from  



                                 

arguing that he did not sign one.  The superior court did not address Richard's argument  



                                                               

that the I-864 obligation was dependent on Olga's attaining permanent-resident status,  



presumably because it considered Richard estopped from challenging his obligation after  



he stipulated to it in the divorce decree.  



                   The superior court rejected Richard's claim that the parties' premarital  



agreement  preempted  the  I-864  affidavit.    It  concluded  that  the  affidavit  created  a  



                                                                

contract  between  Richard  and  the  federal  government,  from  which  Olga  was  not  



                                                                         

empowered to release Richard.  The superior court also concluded that because Richard  



                                                                                                        

stipulated to his I-864 obligation in the divorce decree, he could not now argue that the  



premarital agreement barred that obligation.  



                   With regard to Richard's offsets arguments, the superior court reviewed  



documentation Olga submitted about college financial aid and concluded that there was  



                            

no aid that would  reduce Richard's obligations.  The superior court did not address  



Richard's broader claim that it should conduct a full review of offsets for 2009, 2011,  



2012, and 2013.  



                   The superior court accepted the premise of Richard's argument that Linda's  



                              

resources should be considered, and it invited Richard to make a separate motion on this  



                            

point.  It similarly concluded that it would consider the issue of household size at an  



October 22, 2013 hearing.  



                                                          -10-                                                     6964
  


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

         E.	      The Superior Court's December 2013 "Final Judgment" Establishing  

                  An Accounting And Reporting System  



                  Richard did not adhere to the superior court's June 20, 2013 order, and on  



                     

September 19 the superior court again ordered Richard to pay Olga $1,615.63 per month  



to fulfill his 2013 obligation.  On November 8 the superior court reduced Richard's  



arrears to a judgment, awarding costs to Olga pending confirmation of her expenses.  



Olga  waived  the  award  of  costs  to  speed  up  the  execution  of  the  judgment,  and  on  



December 9 the superior court issued a "final judgment" in which it "establishe[d] a new  



                       

accounting and reporting system to administer the duty of support that has been the  



                                              

subject of so many motions and hearings."  Noting that the order represented the fifth  



                                                        

time  since  the  beginning  of 2012  that Richard  had  been  ordered  to  pay  his  support  



                                                                                                       

obligation to Olga, the superior court evidently intended that this detailed order would  



prevent future litigation of Richard's obligation.  



                  The new accounting and reporting system had three elements.  First, Olga  



was  required  to  submit  reports  disclosing  all  her  household  income,  including  any  



income earned by Linda as long as the two continued to live together; Richard was  



                                                                                                     

required to provide a quarterly report of his support payments and was to make those  



payments by the first day of each month.  Second, Olga's wages were to be verified  



annually.  Pursuant to that requirement, Olga was to execute a document authorizing  



Richard  to  access  her  wage  information  on  file  at  the  California  Employment  



Development  Department.    Third,  the  superior  court  would  hold  quarterly  status  



                                                                   

hearings, after which it would issue a judgment if it determined that Richard had failed  



to fulfill his support obligation during the period reviewed at the hearing.  The superior  



                                                                             

court cautioned Richard not to deviate from the court's orders in making payments and  



instructed him to make an appropriate adjustment of his payments as soon as the new  



federal poverty guideline for 2014 took effect.  



                                                         -11-	                                                  6964
  


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

          F.	      Richard's  Appeal  Of  The  Superior  Court's  June  2013  Order;  The  

                    Superior Court's Request For A Limited Remand  



                                                                                                

                   In the meantime, Richard had appealed the superior court's June 20, 2013  



                                                                                                                   

order.      During  a  November  status  hearing,  Richard  repeated  his  argument  that  the  



                                                                     

superior court had failed in its June 20 order to provide him with the appropriate offsets  



                                                                         

against his I-864 obligations for 2011 and 2012.  The superior court notified the parties  



           

that it was considering requesting a remand of Richard's appeal to resolve Richard's  



                                                               

claims of error.  Over Richard's objection, in January 2014, the superior court requested  

              16  Explaining that "the trial court is a more efficient process for the parties and  

a remand.                                                                                 



will provide the Alaska Supreme Court with a more clean record on appeal," the superior  

                                                                   



court requested a remand so that it could "undertake an accounting of payments and  



offsets for the years 2011 and 2012 to ensure both that Mr. Villars received every offset  

                                                                                



to which he was entitled and that Ms. Villars received the annual level of support to  

                                                                                                            



which she was entitled."  



                                                                                                

                    The superior court indicated in its request for remand that it would calculate  

                                                                                                         17  to mean that  

                                                                                                             

offsets only for 2011 and 2012.  Interpreting a federal district court case 



"federal law requires [that] the sponsor's obligation to the non-citizen be calculated  



annually," the superior court indicated that it considered years 2009 and 2010 "closed."  

                                                                                   



The superior court noted that Richard stipulated to his 2009 obligation in the divorce  



          16       In  his  opposition  to  the  request  for  remand,  Richard  argued  that  our  



conclusions on several issues might limit or make unnecessary the accounting that the  

superior court indicated that it would undertake.  Among these issues were whether the  

premarital agreement preempted the I-864 agreement; whether "the requirements to make  

an I-864 claim [were met]"; whether Olga could receive payments while outside the  

                        

United States; and whether Richard could be obligated to Olga's adult daughter, Linda,  

given that Linda allegedly made no claim against Richard.  



          17       See Shumye v. Felleke, 555 F. Supp. 2d 1020, 1024 (N.D. Cal. 2008).  



                                                            -12-	                                                      6964
  


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

decree and that his 2010 obligation was the subject of the remand after this court's  



                                                                                                        

decision in Villars I.  It further noted that it would not address Richard's 2013 obligation  



                                                             

as  part  of  its  review  of  offsets  because  the  parties  were  still  actively  litigating  that  



obligation.  



                           

                    We  granted  the  superior  court's  request  for  a  remand  while  retaining  



jurisdiction.  



          G.        The Superior Court's Evidentiary Hearing And Order On Remand  



                                                                                    

                   After we granted the superior court's request for remand, the superior court  



held an evidentiary hearing in May 2014.  The superior court heard testimony from Olga,  



Richard, and George Nasif, and reviewed several exhibits submitted by Richard.  In an  



                                                                  

order issued June 3, 2014, the superior court presented its detailed review of Richard's  



obligations and payments and any applicable offsets for 2011 and 2012.  



                    First, the superior court concluded that for purposes of Richard's I-864  



                                                                                       

obligation, Olga's daughter, Linda, was a member of Olga's household during 2011 and  



                                                      

2012.  In support of this conclusion, the superior court cited the original divorce decree  



and Richard's stipulation made at the time of that decree to his I-864 obligation.  



                    Second,  the  superior  court  determined  that  the  new  federal  poverty  



guidelines  took  effect  in  February  2011  and  February  2012  -  and  not,  as  Richard  



                                                            

claimed, in March of those years.  Based on its conclusions regarding Olga's household  



                                                                                               

size and the effective date of the new federal poverty guidelines in 2011 and 2012, the  



                                                                                                    

superior court determined that Richard's obligation was $18,370 for 2011 and $18,868  



for 2012.  



                                                                                

                    The superior court then determined how much Richard paid Olga in each  



of those years.  After examining Richard's exhibits, which consisted of check copies,  



electronic transfer statements, and money orders, the superior court determined that  



Richard paid Olga $19,902.15 in 2011 and $11,259.25 in 2012.  



                                                            -13-                                                      6964
  


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

                   Noting  our  conclusion  in  Villars  I  that  a  sponsor  must  pay  only  the  

difference between the immigrant's income and the applicable poverty guideline,18 the  

                                                                                            



superior court reviewed Olga's other financial resources during those years to determine  



the  amount  of  any  applicable  offsets  to  Richard's  obligations.    The  superior  court  



reversed  its  earlier  determination  that  Olga's  wages  in  one  year  could  not  offset  



                                                    

Richard's obligation in a later year, and it accounted for Olga's 2011 wages, finding that  



she earned $4,163 in 2011 and $3,390 in 2012.  



                   The  superior  court  then  addressed  Richard's  claim  that  his  obligation  

                                                                                                            19 that Olga  

should be offset by the amount of any Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) 



received.  It noted that the relevant immigration statute requires the sponsor to provide  

                                                    

support sufficient to maintain the sponsored immigrant at a particular annual "income."20  

                                                                                     



It also noted that the accompanying regulations define "income" as "an individual's total  

                                                    



                                                                                                                21  

income . . . for purposes of the individual's U.S. Federal income tax liability."                                   Citing  

                                                                                              

                                                22 and noting that the purpose of the I-864 obligation  

our decision in Martin v. Martin ,  



was  "to  ensure  a  minimum  level  of  income  so  that  the  state  does  not  take  on  the  

                                                                                                            



sponsor's burden," the superior court concluded that any EITC Olga received was not  



income for purposes of determining any offset to Richard's I-864 obligations.  



          18       See  Villars I, 305 P.3d 321, 325 (Alaska 2013) (quoting                        Barnett v. Barnett ,  



238 P.3d 594, 598 (Alaska 2010)).  



          19       See  26  U.S.C.    32  (2012)  (providing  for  a  refundable  tax  credit  for  



qualifying low-income wage earners).  



          20       See 8 U.S.C.  1183a(a)(1)(A) (2012).  



          21       8 C.F.R.  213a.1 (2014).  



          22       303 P.3d 421, 427 (Alaska 2013) (concluding that an EITC received by one  

                                                                                            

parent should not be considered "income" for purposes of calculating another parent's  

child support obligation).  



                                                            -14-                                                      6964
  


----------------------- Page 15-----------------------

                                                                                                             

                       The superior court also concluded that any food stamps Olga received did  



                                                                                    

not offset Richard's obligation. It observed that although Olga testified that she received  



food stamps, she also testified that the government later sought reimbursement of that  



benefit  and  retained  at  least  part  of  her  income  tax  refund  to  satisfy  the  debt.    The  



                                                                                                               

superior court concluded that funds that must be repaid are not income, analogizing the  



food stamps to a loan.  



                       The superior court rejected Richard's argument that he should not owe  



                                                                                                                            

support for the several months that Olga and Linda spent outside the United States in  

2012.  It determined that the relevant statute23 did not indicate that support payments  



                                           

should be terminated or suspended because the immigrant traveled abroad, and that the  



                                                                                                                               

relevant  regulation  indicated  that  the  support  obligation  terminates  if the  immigrant  



"[c]eases to hold the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and  



                                                 24  

                                                       Noting  that  there  was  no  evidence  that  Olga  had  lost  

departs  the  United  States." 



                                                                                                           

permanent-resident status, the superior court concluded that Richard should receive no  



offset for the time Olga and Linda were abroad.  



                                                                                                         

                       Accounting for Olga's income but finding that Richard had not established  



                                                                       25  

the  existence  of  any  additional  offsets,                              the  superior  court  concluded  that  Richard  



            23          8 U.S.C.  1183a(a)(1)(A).  



            24          8 C.F.R.  213a.2(e)(2)(i)(C) (2014).  



            25         Richard alleged to the superior court that his obligations should be offset   



by  the  amounts  of  a  housing   subsidy  and  educational  grant  Olga  received,  but  the  

superior court found that there was no evidence to support the allegations.  The superior     

court also found that although George Nasif paid for Olga and Linda's rent and utilities   

at some relevant but unspecified time, those amounts were repayments of a loan from  

Olga to George.  Reasoning that Olga "end[ed] up with no more money in her pocket  

than existed before the loan," the superior court concluded that the repayments from  

                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                (continued...)  



                                                                        -15-                                                                   6964
  


----------------------- Page 16-----------------------

overpaid  in  2011  by  $5,695.15  and  underpaid  in  2012  by  $4,218.75,  for  a  net  



overpayment of $1,476.40.  The superior court therefore amended its December 9, 2013  



                                                                    

judgment to account for the overpayment, and indicated that "overpaid amounts [would  



                                                                                    26  

be]  deducted  from  January  and  February's  obligation."                               But  because  of  apparent  



                                                  

discrepancies in Olga's evidence relating to her wages and Linda's wages - including  



                                                                             

the fact that Olga consistently reported that she was not working but then filed a Social  



                                                                                        

Security document that revealed that she was - the superior court indicated that it would  



                      

not lift a stay of execution on the judgment until Olga provided confirmation of her  

wages and Linda's wages for 2013.27  



                                               

                    In accord with the limited nature of the superior court's request for remand,  



the superior court's June 3, 2014 order addressed only the 2011 and 2012 obligations.  



          H.        Richard's Response To The Superior Court's Order On Remand  



                                         

                    Later in June 2014 Richard requested permission to file a response to the  



                                                                                                          

superior court's order on remand; Olga did not oppose Richard's request, and we granted  



his request on July 10, 2014.  In his response to the superior court's order on remand,  



                                                                                                                  

Richard alleged various errors by the superior court.  Because some of these claims of  



                                                                                                    

error are inextricable from Richard's claims in his opening brief on appeal, we address  



both sets of claims on appeal in this opinion.  



          25(...continued)  



George were not income.  



          26        The superior court was presumably referring to January and February 2013.  



The amended judgment that the superior court indicated would be issued simultaneously  

                                                                                  

with its order might clarify this, but that judgment does not appear in the record or other  

                                                                                       

documents before us.  



          27        The superior court evidently agreed with Richard that wages Linda earned  



after attaining the age of majority reduced Richard's obligation dollar for dollar.   



                                                            -16-                                                       6964
  


----------------------- Page 17-----------------------

III.	     STANDARDS OF REVIEW  



                                                              

                   "The proper interpretation of a statute presents a question of law that we  



                                                                   

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

and policy."28  



                   "We review factual findings for clear error, and will uphold the superior  



court's findings unless we are left with a definite and firm conviction on the entire record  



that  a  mistake  has  been  made,  even  though  there  may  be  evidence  to  support  the  

finding."29  



IV.	     DISCUSSION  



         A.	       Several of Richard's Arguments Constitute An Improper Collateral  

                   Attack on the Divorce Judgment And Are Also Barred By The Rule  

                                                                                                       

                   Against Expanding Issues In Successive Appeals Of The Same Case.  



                   Several of Richard's arguments challenge facts or legal obligations that  



were settled in the divorce decree.  These arguments include the following:  (1) that the  

                                                                                           



parties' premarital agreement precludes any claim by Olga for support payments; (2) that  

                                                                                                                 



Richard did not sign an I-864 affidavit and therefore has no support obligation; (3) that  

                                                        



to trigger his support obligation, Olga was required to achieve permanent-resident status  

                                                            



but  never  did  so;  (4)  that  his  2009  support  payment  was  excessive  because  it  was  

       



calculated  using  an  incorrect  formula;  (5)  that  I-864  support  may  not  be  ordered  

                                                          



prospectively but instead may be ordered only if it is proven afterward that the sponsored  



                                                                                         

immigrant's income was below the relevant income threshold; and (6) that Richard has  



         28        State, Dep't of Commerce, Cmty. & Econ. Dev., Div. of Ins. v. Alyeska  



Pipeline Serv. Co., 262 P.3d 593, 596 (Alaska 2011) (citation and internal quotation  

marks omitted).  



         29        Simmonds v. Parks, 329 P.3d 995, 1007 (Alaska 2014) (citation and internal  



quotation marks omitted).  



                                                          -17-	                                                   6964
  


----------------------- Page 18-----------------------

                                               

no obligation to make support payments toward Linda's needs unless Linda makes her  



own claim against him.  



                    If Richard believed there were errors in the divorce decree, he could have  



                                                        30  

filed a timely appeal.  But he did not.                     Richard also failed to raise these issues at the  



                                                                                         

time Olga moved to enforce the divorce decree with respect to Richard's obligations for  



                                                             

the first eleven months of 2010.  Instead, in the guise of an appeal challenging one of the  



                                                                 

superior court's recent orders, Richard  in  effect is collaterally attacking the original  



                                                                                                      

divorce decree, which is now more than five years old.  As we have said before, "[t]he  



                                                                                31  

remedy for legal error is appeal, not collateral attack."                            



                    The findings of fact that were incorporated into the divorce decree - which  



as noted, Richard could have appealed, but did not - indicate that Richard signed an  



                        

I-864 affidavit; they also describe in detail his obligations arising from the affidavit.  The  



                                                                          

inclusion of those obligations in the findings of fact presupposes that the obligations  



were not otherwise barred - for instance, because of the existence of a contrary and  



                                                                                               

controlling  premarital  agreement,  or  because  Olga  had  not  achieved  the  required  



          30        Richard claims that he noticed errors in the divorce decree as soon as he  



received it. In his brief he indicates that when he received the divorce decree in the mail,  

                                                                    

he "immediately not[ed] errors and contact[ed] his attorney."  Among the alleged errors  

                                                                                                        

was the parties' apparent failure to address the potential applicability of their premarital  

        

agreement  to  Richard's  I-864  obligations  and  an  apparent  misunderstanding  of  the  

formula to be used to calculate those I-864 obligations.  But at no point did Richard  

appeal the superior court's judgment in the divorce case.  



          31        Wall v. Stinson, 983 P.2d 736, 741 (Alaska 1999) (citing Fauntleroy v.  



                                                                      

Lum , 210 U.S. 230, 237 (1908)). For example, we have explained that a motion for relief  

                                                                                                  

from a judgment or order, see Alaska R. Civ. P. 60(b), "is not a substitute for a party  

failing to file a timely appeal; nor does it allow relitigation of issues that have been  

resolved by the judgment."  Blaufuss v. Ball , 305 P.3d 281, 285 (Alaska 2013) (quoting  

                                                                   

Cook v. Cook, 249 P.3d 1070, 1083 (Alaska 2011)) (internal quotation marks omitted);  

see also Szabo v. Municipality of Anchorage, 320 P.3d 809, 814 (Alaska 2014).   



                                                             -18-                                                        6964
  


----------------------- Page 19-----------------------

                                                                                      

permanent-resident status.  Also, the amount of the 2009 support payment was explicitly  



                                                                    

stated in the findings of fact, along with the formula used to calculate it - 125% of the  



federal poverty guideline for Alaska.  The findings of fact also explicitly stated that  



                                                                                                                  

Richard's  obligation  was  prospective,  noting  that  he  had  the  option  of  dividing  his  



                                                         

annual obligation into twelve equal monthly installments, which would be due at the  



                 

beginning of each month.  And the findings of fact explicitly stated that Richard was  



obligated  to  support  Olga  and  Linda  until  the  specified  date,  with  no  provision  for  



                                  

Richard's  obligation  to  Linda  being  conditional  upon  Linda  making  her  own  claim  



                                                                               

against Richard.  The arguments that Richard now makes relating to these issues were  



                                                                            

either precisely the issues resolved in the divorce proceeding or were clearly dependent  



                                                                  

on those same facts.  Permitting Richard to reopen the old case would mean ignoring his  



                    

decision not to file a timely appeal and would permit him to relitigate these long-resolved  



          32  

issues.        



                                                                      

                    Furthermore, introducing these arguments at this stage violates the well- 



                                                 

founded rule against expanding the issues in successive appeals of the same case.  As we  



said in State Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission v. Carlson (Carlson III),  



                     [s]uccessive appeals should narrow the issues in a case, not  

                                                                                                 

                    expand them. . . . [A]ll matters that were or might have been  



          32        See Blaufuss, 305 P.3d at 285-87.  A further reason for rejecting Richard's  



argument that support payments cannot be ordered prospectively is that the accounting  

                                                              

and reporting system that the superior court carefully devised in its December 9, 2013  

order provides an adequate procedure to ensure that Richard does not overpay.  The  

                                                                                                               

system requires Olga to submit reports disclosing all her household income, including  

                          

any  income  earned  by  Linda  as  long  as  the  two  live  together;  requires  periodic  

                                                                                                         

verification of Olga's wages; and permits Richard access to Olga's wage information on  

                                                                                                      

file at the California Employment Development Department.  As we discuss below,  

Richard is entitled to appropriate offsets if a court determines that he overpaid in a given  

period. The superior court's quarterly status hearings will permit Richard to address any  

                                 

such overpayment.  



                                                               -19-                                                         6964
  


----------------------- Page 20-----------------------

                                                                                    

                    determined  in  a  former  appeal  may  not  be  presented  in  a  

                                                                                                       

                    subsequent appeal of the same case.  The basis for this rule is  

                    that  [j]udicial  economy  and  the  parties'  interests  in  the  

                                                                      

                    finality of judgments are in no way furthered if parties are  

                                                                                   

                    allowed to engage in piecemeal appeals.  We have expressed  

                                                                                            [33] 

                    a similar rule in the context of res judicata . . . .                          



                                                                                                         

                    Mindful of our precedents in this area and of the good policy of limiting  



                                                      

repetitive and piecemeal litigation, we do not address any argument Richard makes that  



                                             

involves a challenge to a fact or obligation established in the divorce decree that Richard  



failed to challenge through a timely appeal (or to raise as a defense to Olga's initial  



                                                                                                             

motion to enforce the obligation), and that he then declined to address during the first  



appeal of this case.   



          B.        Richard May Be Entitled To Further Offsets.  



                    There are two minor offsets to which Richard may be entitled.  Richard  



                                                                                                                      

argues that the superior court erred when, after the December 8, 2010 hearing, it ordered  



                                                                       

him to pay I-864 support for December 2010.  As Richard notes, the superior court later  



determined that Olga had received qualifying support in 2010 in excess of Richard's  



I-864 obligation for that year.  Thus, Richard claims, he should be "recompense[d]"  



$ 1,458.33, the amount he was ordered to pay following the December 8 hearing.  



                                                               

                    Because the first appeal in this case related only to the superior court's  



                                                                                 34  

                                                                                    Richard has not previously had  

determination for the first eleven months of that year, 



          33        65 P.3d 851, 873-74 (Alaska 2003) (internal citations and quotation marks  



omitted).  The rule against expanding issues in successive appeals applies regardless of  

                                                                    

which party initiated the earlier appeal.  In Carlson III , we concluded that the State was  

                                                                               

barred from introducing a defense it raised after the second appeal, even though the third  

                                      

appeal was  the  first one brought by the State.  Id.  at 874 (declining to address new  

                         

defense in appeal by the State).  



          34  

                           

                    See  Villars I, 305 P.3d 321 (Alaska 2013).  



                                                              -20-                                                         6964
  


----------------------- Page 21-----------------------

                                                                                                     

an opportunity to litigate or appeal his alleged overpayment for December 2010.  We  



                                                                                                                       

therefore consider his claim here.   However, it is not clear on the record before  us  



                                                                          35  

whether Richard in fact overpaid for that month.                               We therefore remand to the superior  



court for this factual determination.  If Richard did overpay, the superior court should  



                                                                                             

account  for  that  overpayment  by  providing  Richard  with  an  offset  applicable  to  his  



                                                                                                                          

current or future obligations, following the sensible approach the superior court has used  



to balance Richard's overpayment in 2011 against his underpayment in 2012.  



                     Richard may also be entitled to an offset to account for a period of "several  



                                                                                 

months" in 2012 that he claims Olga and Linda spent visiting relatives in Ukraine, during  



                                                  

which time he asserts that those relatives supported Olga and Linda.  Richard claims that  



                                                                                                                      

Olga testified telephonically from Ukraine for an August 9, 2012 hearing; he also claims  



                                                         

that she testified during that hearing that her family there was supporting her during her  



visit.  



                                                                                                                            

                     Richard cites no authority for his argument, and we have identified no case  



in  which  a  court  has  provided  an  offset  to  account  for  a  sponsored  immigrant's  



temporary absence from the United States.  The relevant statutes do not specifically  



                                                          36  

                                                              But it is clear that the purpose of the support  

provide for such an approach either. 



          35         According to the superior court's recent accounting for 2011 and 2012, it       



appears Richard made a payment in the amount of $1,458.33 on December 27, 2010.  

Based on the amounts and timing of the payments listed after this payment and the fact  

                                                                                                                     

that the superior court included this payment in its calculation for 2011, it appears the  

payment on December 27 was made to satisfy Richard's obligation for January 2011.  

Thus, the December 27 payment is presumably not the payment for December 2010 for  

                                                                                                                          

which Richard now seeks reimbursement.  But the superior court is better positioned to  

                                                                                                                   

determine these facts.   



          36         The  statute  and  regulations  together  provide  several  conditions,  the  



                                                                                                     

occurrence of any one of which terminates the sponsor's support obligation - but none  

                                                                                                                 (continued...)  



                                                                -21-                                                          6964
  


----------------------- Page 22-----------------------

                                                                                                          

obligation to which an immigrant's sponsor commits is to prevent the admission of any  



                                                                                         37  

                                                                                                     

immigrant likely to become dependent on public assistance.                                   And it is well established  



that a sponsor is obligated to pay only the difference between the sponsored immigrant's  



                                                                     

resources and the appropriate multiple of the poverty guideline - in other words, only  

that amount necessary to keep the immigrant from turning to public assistance.38                                           Thus  



it is logical that the sponsor's support obligation should be reduced if the immigrant  



receives  alternate  support  from  other  sources,  including  domestic  and  international  



family  members,  if  that  support  meets  the  definition  of  "income"  for  I-864  support  



                  39  

obligations.           



                    On  the record before us it is unclear whether Olga and Linda received  



                                                

support from family members abroad in 2012 while they were visiting Ukraine.  We  



                                                                                                  

therefore remand to the superior court for this determination.  As with its accounting for  



          36(...continued)  



address  a  temporary   reduction  in  the  obligation  due  to  travel.    See   8  U.S.C.  

                                   

 1183a(a)(2)-(3) (2012); see also 8 C.F.R.  213a.2(e)(2)(i)(A)-(D), (e)(2)(ii) (2014).  

One of these conditions for termination depends on whether the immigrant "ceases to  

                                                                                                   

hold the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and departs the  

                                          

United States,"  213a.2(e)(2)(i)(C), but that language seems to refer to an immigrant's  

                                                                                                         

permanent departure, not a temporary visit abroad.  



          37  

                                            

                    See 8 U.S.C.  1182(a)(4)(A) (noting that any alien "likely at any time to  

                          

become a public charge is inadmissible"); id.  1183a(a)(1)(A)-(C) (stating the required  

                                                                                                          

contents of the affidavit that an alien's sponsor must sign to prove that the alien will not  

become a public charge).  



          38        See, e.g., Barnett v. Barnett, 238 P.3d 594, 598 (Alaska 2010).  



          39  

                                                     

                    As noted previously, the relevant immigration statute requires the sponsor  

                                                                                                       

to provide support sufficient to maintain the sponsored immigrant at a particular annual  

"income."    See  8  U.S.C.    1183a(a)(1)(A).    The  accompanying  regulations  define  

"income" as "an individual's total income . . . for purposes of the individual's U.S.  

Federal income tax liability."  8 C.F.R.  213a.1.  



                                                              -22-                                                         6964
  


----------------------- Page 23-----------------------

                                                                                                       

any overpayment for December 2010, the superior court should follow the same careful  



                                                                                                             

and thoughtful approach it used in balancing the under- and over-payments in 2011 and  

2012.40  



                                                                                                           

          C.       Richard Is Not Entitled To An Offset For Any Earned Income Tax  

                   Credit Olga May Have Received.  



                                                     

                   Richard briefly argues that his obligation should be reduced in the amount  



                                                                                        41  

of any Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that Olga received.                                   



                   As the superior court observed, the relevant statute requires the sponsor to  

provide support adequate to maintain the sponsored immigrant at a particular "income,"42  



                                       

and the regulations define "income" as "an individual's total income . . . for purposes of  



                                                                           43  

the individual's U.S. Federal income tax liability."                            But an EITC is not income for  



federal income tax purposes.  The Internal Revenue Code defines "taxable income" as  



          40       We do not separately address Richard's argument that he is entitled to an  



offset to account for Linda's income, if any.  The superior court has explicitly invited  

Richard to make a motion on this matter, setting out the procedure for him to raise the  

issue if it is a concern for him.  In its June 3, 2014 order, the superior court indicated that  

                                                                                 

it  would  address  Richard's  concern  by  staying  its  judgment  until  Olga  provides  

               

confirmation of her own income and Linda's income for 2013.  The superior court's  

                                                        

decision to stay its judgment pending receipt of adequate documentation of Olga's and  

                                                                   

Linda's resources also disposes of Richard's argument that the superior court erred by  

                                                                                       

ordering payments during the time that Olga has failed to document her resources.  We  

                                                                                                   

therefore do not address Richard's argument on that point.  



          41       See  26  U.S.C.    32  (2012)  (providing  for  a  refundable  tax  credit  for  



qualifying low-income wage earners).  



          42       See 8 U.S.C.  1183a(a)(1)(A).  



          43       8 C.F.R.  213a.1.  



                                                            -23-                                                      6964
  


----------------------- Page 24-----------------------

                                                                    44  

                                              

"gross income minus . . . deductions."                                  Gross income is defined as "all income from  

whatever source derived,"45 but the Code specifically excludes certain items from the  



                  46                                        47 

                                                                                                                                               

definition,            including tax credits.                    Therefore, an EITC, which is by definition a tax  



credit, is not "income . . . for purposes  of the individual's U.S. Federal income tax  



                                                                                                                       

liability" and cannot be used to offset Richard's I-864 obligations.  The superior court  

did not err in concluding that any EITC Olga received was not income.48  



V.          CONCLUSION  



                                                                                                              

                        We AFFIRM the superior court's orders rejecting Richard's claims that we  



                                                                                                        

have concluded constitute an improper collateral attack on the divorce judgment or are  



claims that Richard could have raised when Olga first sought enforcement of the divorce  



                                                           

judgment or that he could  have  raised during the first appeal of this case.  We also  



AFFIRM the superior court's order with respect to its conclusion that any EITC Olga  



                                                                                                                                          

received  is  not  income  for  I-864  obligation  offset  purposes.    We  AFFIRM  in  most  



                                                                                                                

respects the remainder of the challenged orders by the superior court but REMAND to  



                                                                               

the superior court for findings regarding the amount of any offsets to which Richard is  



            44         See 26 U.S.C.  63(a) (2012).  



            45         See id.  61(a).  



            46         See id.  101-140 ("Items Specifically Excluded from Gross Income").  



            47         See id.  111.  



            48          The superior court reached this conclusion by relying on our decision in   



Martin v. Martin , 303 P.3d 421, 427 (Alaska 2013).  But that case has limited relevance   

here.   We held in             Martin that an EITC received by one parent should not be considered     

"income" for purposes of calculating another parent's child support obligation.                                                           But the  

basis for our conclusion in Martin was not that an EITC is not income for purposes of  

the individual's federal income tax liability - the relevant issue here - but rather that  

                                                                                                                                      

an EITC is not income for purposes of Alaska Civil Rule 90.3, the Alaska court rule  

                                                                                                                                      

governing child support awards.    



                                                                        -24-                                                                  6964
  


----------------------- Page 25-----------------------

entitled as a result of his alleged overpayment for December 2010; any overpayment  



resulting from support Olga may have received from family members while in Ukraine     



in 2012; and any offset to account for Linda's income. We do not retain jurisdiction.  



                                                                                    -25-                                                                       6964
  

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