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In re Marriage of Legrand

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 5, 2014

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF ALLAN LEGRAND AND CONNIE LEGRAND Upon the Petition of ALLAN LEGRAND, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning CONNIE LEGRAND, Respondent-Appellee.

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

Allan appeals the award of physical care of two children to Connie, the calculation of child support, and the requirement that he pay a bill for the internet provider.

Andrew Howie of Hudson, Mallaney, Shindler & Anderson, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Bradley Boffeli of Boffeli & Spannagel, P.C., Dubuque, for appellee.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.

MULLINS, J.

Allan LeGrand appeals from a decree dissolving his marriage to Connie LeGrand. Allan argues the district court erred by giving joint legal custody to both parties but physical care to Connie. He also contends the district court erred in calculating his child support obligation and in ordering him to pay the utility bills of the marital home. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Allan and Connie LeGrand married in 1989. The petition for dissolution of marriage was filed in June 2012. They had been married twenty-three years at the time of trial. Allan was forty-five years old and Connie was forty-two. The parties have four children: two adult female children, and fifteen-year-old twins, L.L. (a boy) and S.L. (a girl).

At the time of trial, Allan worked part-time at Energetics Industrial as a delivery driver, earning ten dollars an hour. Previously, he worked for Horsfield Construction from April 2012 to December 2012 as a truck driver, earning $14.50 an hour. He testified he worked seasonally for Horsfield and anticipated they would rehire him in spring 2013. Prior to Horsfield, and for a large part of their marriage, Allan worked for Superior Welding, which required twelve-hour days and significant travel. Consequently, Connie was the children's primary caregiver and had been for most or all of their lives.

Connie had worked for Nagle Publishing for eighteen years as a part-time publishing assistant. Nagle was never able to hire her for more than part-time work. She earned $12.50 per hour and worked a varied part-time schedule: one week each month, she would work 36.5 hours, to meet a publishing deadline; the remaining weeks of the year, she worked 26.5 hours.

Connie left the marital home in May 2012 and moved in with her parents, intending to obtain an apartment after the dissolution. S.L. joined her mother in the maternal grandparents' home. L.L. remained living with Allan in the marital home. In September 2012, the district court entered a temporary order granting Allan physical care of L.L. and Connie physical care of S.L., with visitation for each noncustodial parent. The children have Title XIX insurance. S.L. has a major hip injury from playing soccer and will require several future surgeries. L.L. also has had a number of health issues. Connie has largely been responsible for making arrangements for the twins' medical care, with help from her own parents to get them to appointments.

L.L. testified at trial that while living with Allan in the marital home after the parties had separated, Allan spent many evenings with his girlfriend, leaving L.L. alone, including around ten times overnight. Connie would occasionally check on L.L. in the marital home. She observed the house had fallen into very poor condition with dirty dishes left everywhere covered in spoiled or moldy food, spoiled food in the refrigerator, and BB gun bullet holes in walls and in decorative items, which were Connie's personal belongings. L.L. testified the house was in an unsanitary condition. Connie also testified L.L. had used one of the girl's old bedrooms as a shooting range. L.L. admitted to shooting the BB gun purposely at Connie's personal items. When asked why, he testified, "I was just bored. I don't know." Connie had received a letter from a school truancy officer warning that L.L. had been missing many days of school. L.L. admitted he had missed some school to go hunting and testified he had a 1.4 grade point average.

At the time of trial, the marital home was in foreclosure, and Allan and L.L. had moved in with Allan's girlfriend and her then-sixteen-year-old son. The parties filed a pretrial stipulation outlining and dividing their assets and debts, including an equitable division of personal items from the marital home. The district court held trial in the matter on March 14, 2013. The court heard testimony from Allan; Connie; S.L.; L.L.; an adult daughter, Megan; and Connie's mother, Mary. The ...


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