IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KYLE LANGE AND JESSICA LANGE Upon the Petition of KYLE LANGE, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning JESSICA LANGE, n/k/a JESSICA L. SCHNEIDER, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, Patrick W.
mother appeals the custody and spousal support provisions of
a decree of dissolution. AFFIRMED.
G. Bertogli, Des Moines, for appellant.
Cathleen J. Siebrecht of Siebrecht Law Firm, Des Moines, for
by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and McDonald, JJ.
Lange n/k/a Schneider challenges several provisions of the
decree dissolving her marriage to Kyle Lange. Jessica argues
shared physical care is not in the best interest of the
parties' two children and she should receive physical
care of the children. She also seeks a greater amount of
spousal support for longer duration. Finally, Jessica argues
Kyle should have been required to pay more of her trial
and Kyle Lange were married in 2005. At the time of trial,
Jessica was thirty-eight and Kyle thirty-seven. They have two
children, R.L., born in 2008, and A.L., born in 2010. Both
Kyle and Jessica have undergraduate and graduate degrees from
Iowa State University. The couple resided in Osceola
throughout their marriage. Kyle is employed by DuPont Pioneer
and makes $154, 452.96 annually, plus bonuses. Jessica worked
at John Deere from the beginning of the marriage until she
quit in May 2015. At the time she quit her employment, she
earned approximately $57, 053 annually. Jessica testified she
quit her employment to become a stay-at-home mother until her
children were independent. Kyle testified Jessica's
absence from the workforce was meant to be temporary and
Jessica did not tell him she wanted to stay at home until
July 2015. At the time of trial in May 2016, Jessica was
shortly before the initiation of this dissolution proceeding,
the parties' care arrangement for the children was well
established. Both Kyle and Jessica worked in Des Moines.
Their home was on an acreage approximately 700 feet from
Kyle's parents' home. Kyle and Jessica commuted
together from Osceola to Des Moines. The children were
dropped off at daycare at approximately 7 a.m. Kyle's
parents picked up the children from daycare at approximately
4:30 p.m. and cared for the children until Kyle and Jessica
returned from Des Moines, typically between 6 and 7 p.m.
Kyle's parents frequently prepared dinner for the family,
and the family frequently ate at Kyle's parents'
home. When Jessica quit her employment in May 2015, she
provided care for the children while Kyle was at work.
filed for divorce on August 24, 2015. Kyle, Jessica, and the
children all remained in the martial home until February
2016. Once Kyle moved out of the marital home, the parties
exercised shared physical care of the children.
trial, Kyle and Jessica disagreed about the appropriate
physical care arrangement for their children. Kyle sought
joint physical care while Jessica sought physical care.
Jessica argued that even when both parents worked fulltime
she provided the day-to-day care for the children, including
missing work when the children were sick. Kyle testified as
to his own involvement in raising the children. His
supervisor testified the company worked with Kyle to create a
more flexible schedule to allow Kyle to spend more time with
the children. A court-appointed custody evaluator found the
children were bonded with both parents and benefited from
relationships with both parents. The evaluator concluded
"[Jessica and Kyle] are more than capable of
co-parenting their children in a manner that places the
children's needs as a priority."
trial court granted Jessica and Kyle joint legal custody and
joint physical care of the children. The trial court awarded
$2000 per month in rehabilitative alimony to Jessica for a
period of twenty-four months. Based upon the parties'
disparate earnings, the trial court awarded Jessica $5000 in
attorney fees. Jessica appeals all three of these decisions.
She seeks physical care, $3000 a month in ...