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In re Marriage of Kraker

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 16, 2017

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.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.

         Respondent 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 fees.

          William H. Larson of Klass Law Firm, L.L.P., Sioux City, for appellant.

          Irene A. Schrunk of Irene A. Schrunk Law Firm, Sioux City, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Leonard 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.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Leonard 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.

         Michelle 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.

         Leonard 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.

         II. Standard of Review

         Our 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).

         III. ...


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