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In re Marriage of Crane

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 3, 2017

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KENNETH CRANE AND JERRILYN CRANE Upon the Petition of KENNETH CRANE, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning JERRILYN CRANE, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clayton County, Richard D. Stochl, Judge.

         Petitioner appeals the parties' dissolution decree on the issues of spousal support and property division, and respondent cross-appeals.

          James J. Burns of Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty & Parrish, P.L.C., Decorah, for appellant/cross-appellee.

          Curtis W. Den Beste of Howes Law Firm, P.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellee/cross-appellant.

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

          BOWER, Judge.

         Kenneth Crane appeals the parties' dissolution decree on the issues of spousal support and property division, and Jerrilyn Crane cross-appeals. We find Kenneth's spousal support obligation should be decreased to $1000 per month. We affirm the property distribution, including the allocation of debts, found in the dissolution decree. We determine each party should pay their own appellate attorney fees. We affirm the district court, as modified by this decision.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Kenneth and Jerrilyn were married in 1973. They have three adult children. On November 17, 2014, Kenneth filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. The parties stipulated to a division of assets, except for a debt of $9335 to One Main Financial. They regarded the stipulated property division to be roughly equal.

         The dissolution trial was held on December 11, 2015. Kenneth was then sixty-three years old. He is a truck driver and operates Ken Crane Trucking, Inc. The company formerly owned several tractors and trailers, and hired drivers, including the parties' oldest son. Kenneth testified he had cut back in recent years and presently owned two trailers, one tractor, and he was the only driver. He stated Ken Crane Trucking used Apex Capital Corp. (Apex) to assist in bookkeeping and collection work. Kenneth testified he would like to drive for another year and a half and then retire. Kenneth's tax returns showed he had income of $39, 423 in 2012; $20, 810 in 2013; and $20, 919 in 2014.

         At the time of the trial, Jerrilyn was sixty-two years old. She assisted in bookkeeping and dispatching for Ken Crane Trucking until the parties separated in November 2014. She is presently employed at Good Neighbor Home, where her base gross income is $22, 256 per year. Jerrilyn also testified she works overtime. We determine Jerrilyn earns $25, 000 per year, based on her regular income plus overtime.[1] Jerrilyn requested spousal support of $3500 per month. She testified Ken Crane Trucking could earn gross income of $20, 400 per month. She stated she believed Kenneth's income was much greater than what he reported because he overstated his expenses.

         The district court entered a dissolution decree for the parties on February 26, 2016. The court found:

The court has thoroughly reviewed Kenneth's personal and business tax returns and concludes Kenneth is realizing a profit from his business. Legal business deductions taken by Kenneth have allowed his returns to show little or no profit. The court does not believe they reveal a true cash flow image.

         The court ordered Kenneth to pay spousal support of $1500 per month until Jerrilyn reaches the age of sixty-five. The court stated, "Spousal support shall be subject to recalculation upon Jerrilyn attaining 65, depending upon the social security benefits available to Kenneth and those available to Jerrilyn." Concerning the debt of $9335 to One Main Financial, the court found Kenneth incurred the debt to purchase a welder and he should be responsible for the debt. ...


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