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In re Marriage of Cook

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 27, 2017

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF RICHARD L. COOK AND SUSAN K. COOK Upon the Petition of RICHARD L. COOK, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning SUSAN K. COOK, Respondent-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jones County, Kevin McKeever, Judge.

         Richard Cook appeals the pension and spousal support provisions of a decree of dissolution of marriage. AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.

          Michael K. Lang of Knuth Law Office, Anamosa, for appellant.

          Karen A. Volz of Ackley, Kopecky & Kingery, Cedar Rapids, for appellee.

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

          VAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge.

         Richard and Susan Cook married in 1984 and divorced in 2016. Richard appeals the pension and spousal support provisions of the dissolution decree.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Richard was fifty-nine years old at the time of trial, had a high school education, and was in good health. He farmed 183 acres owned by his father and later placed in trust. He also worked for the Cryovac Division of Sealed Air Company from 1975 until 2009, when the company relocated to another state. He held various temporary positions after that point.

         Susan was fifty-seven years old, had a high school education, and was in good health. She initially worked on an assembly line. During her first pregnancy, she and Richard agreed she would give up her employment. In 1998, she resumed employment as a preschool paraprofessional, working approximately thirty hours a week. She later added a weekend job as a housekeeper.

         At the time of trial, the couple's three children were adults and the sole issues for resolution involved property and spousal support. The district court set aside Richard's inherited property to him and attempted to equally divide most of the couple's joint assets and the largest of the couple's liabilities. Richard's pension from his thirty-four years of employment with Sealed Air was divided pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) affording Susan "50% of the marital factor of 31/34."[1] As for spousal support, the court ordered Richard to pay Susan $800.00 per month until "Susan dies, Richard dies or Susan remarries."

         Richard moved for enlarged findings and conclusions. The district court denied the motion and this appeal followed.

         II. Analysis

         A. ...


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