IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MARKEEN ADELE STARIN-TODD HINDS AND JOHN CARL HINDS Upon the Petition of MARKEEN ADELE STARIN-TODD HINDS, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning JOHN CARL HINDS, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Jeffrey A.
Hinds appeals the economic provisions of the decree
dissolving his marriage to Markeen Hinds. AFFIRMED.
S. Moeller of John S. Moeller, P.C., Sioux City, for
Elizabeth A. Row of Elizabeth A. Row, P.C., Sioux City, for
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.
Hinds appeals the economic provisions of the district
court's decree dissolving his marriage to Markeen Hinds.
He claims the district court erred in awarding spousal
support, certain property, and trial attorney fees to
Markeen. Markeen requests appellate attorney fees. Upon our
de novo review, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
parties were in a relationship for approximately twenty-two
years and married since 2004. They have no children together.
On December 4, 2015, Markeen filed a petition for dissolution
of marriage. The matter came on for trial on August 31, 2016.
time of trial, John was forty-seven years old and in good
health. He has a high school diploma. In the past, John has
worked as a millwright, a painter, and a welder, earning an
income of $24, 026.00 in 2011, $36, 107.00 in 2012, $49,
215.00 in 2013, $51, 183.00 in 2014, and $43, 847.00 in 2015.
However, at the time of trial, John was unemployed and caring
for his elderly father full time, without compensation. His
receipt of unemployment insurance benefits in the amount of
$350.00 per week was soon ending, and he intended to look for
suitable work near where his father was residing.
time of trial, Markeen was sixty-one years old with known
health issues. She has a GED. In the past, Markeen has
worked as a school cook and has experience performing
janitorial work, walking beans, and working at restaurants
and bars. Markeen did not work outside the home for the
majority of the parties' marriage. Markeen is not
eligible for social security benefits upon retirement. At the
time of trial, Markeen was living with her son from a prior
marriage and his family while caring for her grandchildren
full time. She was not otherwise employed.
1996, John purchased an acreage in Sioux County with the
intent he and Markeen would live there together. In 2012,
Markeen was involved in an automobile accident for which she
received settlement funds in the net amount of $16, 263.30.
Markeen used most of the funds to purchase real estate
property in Minnesota and did not tell John about the
settlement or the property.
district court entered a decree dissolving the parties'
marriage on September 13, 2016. The district court ordered
the parties' acreage be sold and the net proceeds divided
in proportion to the length of the marriage. The court
awarded the Minnesota property to Markeen as nonmarital
property. The court further distributed the parties'
remaining assets and debts and determined John should pay
$2500.00 to Markeen as a property equalization payment. The
court ordered John to pay spousal support to Markeen in the
amount of $500.00 per month for ten years or until either
party's death or Markeen's remarriage, secured by a
life insurance policy. Finally, the court ordered John to pay
Markeen's attorney fees in the amount of $6237.57 and all
filed a motion to enlarge and amend the court's findings
pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.904(2). John
requested, among other things, the court strike the award of
reimbursement spousal support, reduce the equalization
payment, amend its order to include the Minnesota property in
the division of marital property, and reduce the attorney fee
award. The court entered an order amending its findings of
fact and conclusions of law "insofar as the type of
alimony awarded here is more appropriately described as
rehabilitative or transitional ...