IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MICHELLE ANNE KRAKER AND LEONARD PAUL KRAKER Upon the Petition of MICHELLE ANNE KRAKER, Petitioner-Appellee/Cross-Appellant, And Concerning LEONARD PAUL KRAKER, Respondent-Appellant/Cross-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Patrick H.
appeals the property division and award of spousal support in
the parties' dissolution decree, and petitioner
cross-appeals on the issues of spousal support and attorney
William H. Larson of Klass Law Firm, L.L.P., Sioux City, for
A. Schrunk of Irene A. Schrunk Law Firm, Sioux City, for
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
Kraker appeals the property division and award of spousal
support in the parties' dissolution decree, and Michelle
Kraker cross-appeals on the issues of spousal support and
attorney fees. We modify the decree to provide Leonard's
pension should be divided pursuant to a marital property
order in accordance with the Benson formula as
outlined in this opinion and remand on this issue. On all
other issues of property division, spousal support, and
attorney fees, we affirm the dissolution decree entered by
the district court. We do not award appellate attorney fees.
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Michelle were married in 1986. They have two adult
children. Leonard, who was fifty-five years old, had been
employed as a firefighter with the Sioux City Fire Department
for twenty-three years and had "Medicare wages" in
2015 of $92, 851. As a firefighter, he contributed to the
Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa (MFPRS),
rather than Social Security. Michelle, who was fifty-six
years old, was the sole proprietor of Klassic Klips, a hair
salon. She earned $22, 983 in 2015.
filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on September 24,
2015. In the dissolution decree, the district court found
Michelle had retained personal property worth $7500, while
Leonard had personal property worth $1500. The court awarded
Michelle her business, which was valued at $24, 500. The
court determined Michelle should be awarded forty-six percent
of Leonard's retirement account, payable when
Leonard's benefits commence under the plan. The court
determined Leonard should pay Michelle spousal support of
$1500 per month until he retires. Michelle was awarded
attorney fees of $750.
filed a motion pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure
1.904(2), stating the court had failed to consider he would
receive a reduced amount of Social Security benefits under
the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) due to his receipt
of MFPRS benefits and asking the court to reopen the record
on this issue. Michelle also filed a motion pursuant to rule
1.904(2). The court granted the motion to reopen the record
and gave the parties the opportunity to submit affidavits and
briefs on the issue of the WEP. The court made a few
adjustments, but largely denied the parties' motions.
Leonard now appeals, and Michelle cross-appeals.
Standard of Review
review in dissolution cases is de novo. Iowa R. App. P.
6.907; In re Marriage of Fennelly, 737 N.W.2d 97,
100 (Iowa 2007). We examine the entire record and determine
anew the issues properly presented. In re Marriage of
Rhinehart, 704 N.W.2d 677, 680 (Iowa 2005). We give
weight to the factual findings of the district court but are
not bound by them. In re Marriage of Geil, 509
N.W.2d 738, 741 (Iowa 1993).