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In re Marriage of Tollefsrud

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 7, 2013

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MARSHA LYNN TOLLEFSRUD AND DANIEL NEIL TOLLEFSRUD Upon the Petition of MARSHA LYNN TOLLEFSRUD, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning DANIEL NEIL TOLLEFSRUD, Respondent-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, Monica L. Ackley, Judge.

Daniel Tollefsrud appeals from the district court's ruling modifying his child support obligation.

Marion L. Beatty of Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty & Parrish, P.L.C., Decorah, for appellant.

Stephen J. Belay of Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Matten, Belay & Fretheim, Decorah, for appellee.

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

DANILSON, J.

Daniel Tollefsrud appeals from the district court's ruling modifying his child support obligation, complaining the district court improperly calculated his income for child support guidelines purposes. The district court's determination of income is not unreasonable. We decline Daniel's invitation to average his income for child support calculation purposes. We find no reason to disturb the court's findings and ruling, and we, therefore, affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Daniel and Marsha Tollefsrud's marriage was dissolved in 2007, at which time, based upon the parties' stipulated figures, Daniel was ordered to pay $500 per month in child support for his three minor children.

Marsha filed a petition to modify the child support obligation in August 2011, contending modification was required by the child support guidelines.

There is no dispute that for purposes of the child support guidelines, Marsha's annual income is $46, 763. In this modification action, Marsha asserted Daniel's annual income was $49, 372, and she requested that he be ordered to pay $893.62 per month in child support.

Daniel submitted no financial affidavits in this action; rather, he provided tax returns for the years 2007-2011. Daniel is a full-time mechanic earning $22.50 per hour. Daniel also states he farms approximately 590 acres (of which he rents 340 acres) producing corn and soybeans. His 2011 federal asset report notes $984, 665 in net farming assets. Daniel testified in relation to his 2011 tax filing. He noted he earned $403, 496 from the sale of crops in 2011; received $2728 in taxable cooperative payments and $52, 922 in agricultural program payments; and opted to claim a federal loan as earnings in the amount of $73, 946.[1] Schedule F of his 2011 tax return indicates total farm income of $533, 092.

Daniel claimed expenses, however, totaling $528, 972, including $101, 048[2] in depreciation expense for machinery or equipment. His appellate brief summarizes his claimed farm loss and ...


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