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In Re the Marriage of William J. Faber and Christina M.

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF IOWA


December 12, 2012

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF WILLIAM J. FABER AND CHRISTINA M. FABER UPON THE PETITION OF WILLIAM J. FABER, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, AND CONCERNING CHRISTINA M. FABER, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Colleen D. Weiland, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Doyle, P.J.

William Faber appeals from the district court's award of the marital home to Christina Faber in the decree dissolving their marriage. AFFIRMED.

Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

William Faber appeals from the district court's award of the marital home to Christina Faber in the decree dissolving their marriage. He contends the marital home should have been awarded to him because he is in a better financial position and because he has physical care responsibilities for the parties' minor child. Christina resists.

We review dissolution of marriage cases de novo. In re Marriage of Veit, 797 N.W.2d 562, 564 (Iowa 2011). We give weight to the district court's findings, especially its credibility determinations. In re Marriage of Hansen, 733 N.W.2d 683, 690 (Iowa 2007). We afford the district court considerable latitude in its property distribution determination pursuant to the statutorily enumerated factors, and disturb its finding only when the award is inequitable. In re Marriage of Anliker, 694 N.W.2d 535, 542 (Iowa 2005).

In awarding Christina the home, the district court explained:

Both parties present compelling justifications to support their requests to receive the residential real estate. Bill strongly advocates for Madison's ability to remain in her childhood home for her remaining high school years. He also aptly points out the financial burden that Christina will undertake by retaining the home. For her part, it is clear that Christina has a dramatic emotional attachment to the house. That losing the house might be Christina's "last straw" in regard to this divorce may not be an overstatement. I find the parties' respective positions equally persuasive.

It doesn't make the best sense for Christina to retain the home. It certainly places her in a precarious financial position. However, Christina appeared to this court to be extremely thorough and thoughtful in her preparation for these dissolution proceedings. I trust that she has fully considered her options and knowingly concluded that her emotional tie to the property is worth the financial results.

Likewise, this court generally encourages the continuity of a child's familiar home. But here, [their child] has been shown to be a mature, independent and resilient young woman with a healthy [and active] and social life who has now lived away from the marital home for six months. My concerns about removing her from her familiar home are accordingly lessened, especially when she can continue to spend time at this home in the care of Christina.

The district court carefully considered the distribution of marital property and, upon our de novo review, we find it equitable. We therefore affirm the district court's decree pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 21.29(1)(a),(d) and (e).

Costs on appeal are assessed to William. AFFIRMED.

20121212

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