IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF LYNN MARIE LARSEN AND ROGER WAYNE LARSEN Upon the Petition of LYNN MARIE LARSEN, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning ROGER WAYNE LARSEN, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Michael J.
Wayne Larsen appeals the district court's order requiring
him to pay a postsecondary education subsidy.
M. Carr of Carr & Wright, P.L.C., Des Moines, for
S. Facio of Newbrough Law Firm, L.L.P., Ames, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.
H.M.L.'s first day of class at Iowa State University, her
divorced parents returned to court to litigate their required
contributions toward her postsecondary education expenses
under Iowa Code section 598.21F (2016). The district court
ordered each parent to pay $6629.73 toward their
daughter's education costs. Roger Larsen appeals that
order, arguing the district court erred in calculating her
total college expenses and did not require an adequate
contribution from H.M.L. Because we find good cause existed
for the subsidy ordered, we affirm.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
Larsen and Lynn Jones were married in 1995 and divorced in
2015. Lynn currently works in the residence department at
Iowa State, earning approximately $77, 000 annually. Roger
works for the Iowa Department of Transportation and also
earns income from the military reserves, for a total of $110,
000 annually. They have three children, but only the college
subsidy for their daughter H.M.L. is at issue in this case.
entering the dissolution decree in August 2015, the district
court adopted the parties' partial stipulation, including
a postsecondary education subsidy provision. In regard to the
postsecondary education subsidies for their three children,
Roger and Lynn stipulated:
Postsecondary education subsidy. In the event any
child pursues a course of study or training beyond high
school education under the circumstances contemplated by Iowa
Code section 598.21F, each of the parties shall contribute
toward the costs of that study or training as provided for by
section 598.21F(c). The parties' custodial 529
each child shall first be used to discharge their share of
their contributions under this provision but neither party
shall be able to avoid contribution based upon any claims of
alienation or estrangement. These accounts shall be equally
divided with each party having an account for each child. The
value on [this] account as of March 31, 2015 was as
follows: . . . H.M.L. ($ 63, 107.24). . . . The parties shall
be free to continue to add funds to these accounts but are
not required to do so, however the balances on each of these
accounts should not be reduced below half of the amounts
above unless due to market conditions. The parties
acknowledge that these accounts are for the children and will
not be used for another purpose or withheld from any of the
year later, Lynn filed an application for a hearing to
determine the postsecondary education subsidy for
H.M.L.'s college costs. Lynn filed the application
because H.M.L. accepted admission to Iowa State University
and began classes on August 22, 2016. The court held a
hearing on H.M.L.'s postsecondary education subsidy, also
on August 22, 2016. Both parties submitted evidence related
to the total costs of H.M.L.'s attendance at Iowa State.
urged the district court to calculate the total cost of
attendance as follows:
his $16, 694.40 figure as the total cost of attendance, Roger
claimed his postsecondary education subsidy should total $0
for H.M.L's education. According to Roger, the district
court should have subtracted $6025.00 in scholarships; $5500
in loans; $2869.11 in H.M.L's existing financial
$6000 representing H.M.L.'s potential income. According
to Roger, adding in the potential income would result in a
surplus of $3699.71 for H.M.L., and therefore, neither he nor
Lynn need to pay a postsecondary education subsidy.
district court, in its October 5, 2016 amended order,
calculated the ...