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In re Marriage of Kenne

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 22, 2017

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF HEATHER LYNN KENNE AND DANIEL JOSEPH KENNE Upon the Petition of HEATHER LYNN KENNE, Petitioner-Appellee/Cross-Appellant, And Concerning DANIEL JOSEPH KENNE, Respondent-Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.

         Daniel Joseph Kenne appeals, and Heather Lynn Kene cross-appeals, various economic provisions of the decree dissolving their marriage. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Michael B. Oliver of Oliver Gravett Law Firm, P.C., Windsor Heights, for appellant/cross-appellee.

          Shayla L. McCormally and Jennifer H. DeKock of Wandro & Associates, P.C., Des Moines, for appellee/cross-appellant.

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

          MULLINS, Judge.

         Daniel Joseph Kenne appeals various economic provisions of the decree dissolving his marriage to Heather Lynn Kenne. Heather cross-appeals. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Daniel and Heather were married in 1990. After approximately twenty-five years of marriage, Heather filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in 2015. The parties have three children together, one of whom was a minor during the pendency of this action. Both parties worked during the marriage.[1] Both parties are in good health, and neither party has much or any education past high school. The district court accepted $44, 000 as Heather's income-the amount used by the parties on the child support guidelines worksheet-accounting for both her full-time job and the part-time job she intended to continue working, although Daniel argues this does not fully account for the tips Heather received from her part-time position. The district court accepted $77, 000 as Daniel's income-the amount used by the parties on the child support guidelines worksheet-which reflects Daniel's base annual salary but not his monthly car allowance of $525.[2] Heather argues Daniel's gross income was nearly $94, 000 in 2015 and Daniel expects to earn $90, 000 in 2016.

         The parties had virtually no assets at the time of the dissolution. They acknowledge they spend a considerable portion of their income on their minor child's hockey activities.[3] The record indicates the parties intend to continue their child's involvement in hockey; therefore, these costs will be ongoing. Following their separation, Heather has been renting a one-bedroom flat for $625 per month. Daniel has been renting a three-bedroom house for $1000 per month. One of the parties' adult children lives with Daniel and pays $200 per month toward bills. Daniel testified health insurance would cost him $650 per month; Heather testified the cost of health insurance for herself and the minor child costs her $333 per month.

         Prior to trial, the parties mediated and resolved all matters arising from the dissolution except for Heather's request for alimony and payment of attorney fees. Following trial, the district court entered a decree awarding Heather $975 in alimony to be paid monthly until April 1, 2023, and $575 per month thereafter. The district court also awarded Heather $2500 in attorney fees. The parties appealed.

         II. Standard and Scope of Review

         We review cases tried in equity, such as dissolution cases, de novo. Iowa R. App. P. 6.907; In re Marriage of Gust, 858 N.W.2d 402, 406 (Iowa 2015). We give weight to the factual findings of the district court, especially when considering the credibility of witnesses, but we are not bound by them. Iowa R. App. P. 6.904(3)(g). Prior cases, though helpful, have little precedential value because we must base our decision primarily on the particular circumstances of the parties presently before us. In re Marriage of Weidner, 338 N.W.2d 351, 356 (Iowa 1983). We accord the trial court considerable latitude in making factual determinations and will disturb the ruling only when there has been a failure to do equity. Gust, 858 N.W.2d at 406.

         III. ...


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