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In re Marriage of Huinker

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 13, 2017

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KEVIN RICHARD HUINKER AND DODY JANE HUINKER Upon the Petition of KEVIN RICHARD HUINKER, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning DODY JANE HUINKER, Respondent-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clayton County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.

         A wife appeals the physical care, child support, spousal support, property division, and attorney fee provisions of the parties' dissolution decree. AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.

          Kevin E. Schoeberl of Story, Schoeberl & Seebach, L.L.P., Cresco, for appellant.

          Jeffrey L. Swartz of Swartz Law Firm, P.L.L.C., Waukon, for appellee.

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

          MULLINS, JUDGE.

         Dody Huinker appeals the physical care, child support, spousal support, property division, and trial attorney fee provisions of the parties' dissolution decree. We affirm on the issues of physical care, child support, property division, and trial attorney fees. We modify the allocation of unpaid medical expenses- Kevin Huinker should pay 78.88% and Dody should pay 21.12% of all unreimbursed medical expenses. We also modify the decree to provide Kevin should pay spousal support of $350 per month. We award Dody $1000 appellate attorney fees, payable by Kevin.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Kevin and Dody were married in 2002. This was a second marriage for both parties. They have one child, S.H., who was born in 2004. Kevin and Dody separated in 2011 and now live a few blocks apart in Monona, Iowa. They entered into an informal joint physical care arrangement where each week the child lived with Kevin on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; with Dody on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and on Wednesday care was alternated between the parents. Kevin filed a petition for dissolution of marriage August 20, 2014.[1]

         The dissolution hearing was held on September 2, 2015. At that time Kevin was forty-five years old. He was employed as a correctional officer for the State of Iowa. His income in 2013 was $63, 000. Kevin lived in a house owned by his mother, and he paid her rent. He has a child from his first marriage, D.H., who lives with him. Kevin was in good health. During the marriage, the parties obtained a mortgage and $12, 900 from the proceeds of the loan was used to pay Kevin's prior debts. Kevin agreed to repay Dody for this debt.

         At the time of the dissolution hearing Dody was fifty years old. Prior to her marriage to Kevin, Dody purchased a home in Elkader with funds she received in dissolution proceedings from her first husband.[2] She later sold the Elkader home and purchased a home in Monona, where she was living at the time of trial. Dody previously worked in a dental office for fourteen years but was currently unemployed at the time of trial. Dody has a number of medical problems. She was recently determined to be totally disabled, and she receives Social Security disability benefits of $15, 948 per year.

         A dissolution decree for the parties was filed on January 12, 2016. The court granted the parties joint legal custody and joint physical care. The court continued the current arrangement, where Kevin has the child on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; Dody has the child on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and they alternate Wednesdays and holidays. Kevin was ordered to pay child support of $454.44 per month and to provide health insurance for the child. The court determined the parties should equally share unreimbursed medical expenses up to $250. For any amounts over $250, the parents would pay percentages as provided in the child support guidelines. The court did not award any spousal support to Dody. The court divided the parties' assets, including Kevin's account with the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS). As part of the property division, Kevin was ordered to pay Dody $12, 000. The court awarded Dody $750 in trial attorney fees.

         Dody filed a motion pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.904(2). The court increased the amount Kevin should pay Dody to $12, 900, as he agreed in his testimony. The court made some further adjustments to determine Kevin should receive net assets worth $13, 000 and Dody should receive net assets worth $17, 247. Dody now appeals the decision of the district court.[3]

         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 ...


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