IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MARCUS RICHARDT YEAGER AND JENNIFER KAY YEAGER Upon the Petition of MARCUS RICHARDT YEAGER, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning JENNIFER KAY YEAGER, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B.
husband appeals the economic provisions of the parties'
dissolution decree. AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.
Bartolomei of Bartolomei & Lange, P.L.C., Des Moines, for
A. Shutts and Sarah S. James of Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C.,
Des Moines, for appellee.
P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
Yeager appeals the economic provisions of the dissolution
decree from his marriage to Jennifer Yeager. We find the
district court properly divided the marital property,
including the down payment, and properly established child
support. However, the spousal support established by the
district court was excessive. We also find an award of
appellate attorney fees is not appropriate. We affirm the
district court decree as modified.
Background Facts and Proceedings
and Jennifer married in 1996. They have three children, J.Y.,
M.Y., and S.Y. The oldest child was eighteen at the time of
trial and anticipated graduating from high school in the
spring of 2016. Marcus completed his degree in project
management during the marriage while working. Marcus earns
approximately $45, 500 per year.
earned a degree in accounting from the University of Iowa
prior to the marriage. Jennifer attempted the CPA exam in
1994 but did not pass. The parties moved to California, where
Jennifer worked in several accounting positions until 1999,
when their second child was born. Jennifer left the workforce
in order to raise the parties' children. Jennifer worked
sporadically for Marcus's small business doing
bookkeeping and other accounting work but did not fully
return to the workforce. The parties moved back to Iowa in
returned to work in 2008 as an associate for students with
special needs. The parties agreed this position would allow
her flexibility to continue to care for their children as
needed. Jennifer earned approximately $18, 000 per year.
Jennifer is currently pursuing a degree in education and
plans to become a middle school math teacher. At the time of
trial, Jennifer anticipated she would be student teaching in
the fall of 2017, and obtaining her teaching license in
January of 2018.
the parties lived in California, the house they lived in was
initially purchased by Marcus's parents. The property was
titled in the names of Marcus's parents and Marcus.
Jennifer's name was not listed on the property title or
the mortgage. Three years later the parties refinanced the
house and purchased the property from Marcus's parents,
although $28, 000 was provided by Marcus's mother as a
down payment. At trial, Marcus's mother testified the
down payment was a loan. However, the parties have made no
payments, no documents exist referencing the loan, and even
though a substantial profit was made from the sale of the
house, no payment or promise of payment was made.
filed a petition for dissolution on January 21, 2015. Trial
was held January 27-29, and February 3, 2016. The district
court entered its decree April 25. The district court awarded
Marcus the marital home but required him to refinance it in
his own name within ninety days or sell the home, assigned
him sole responsibility for the mortgage, and required him to
pay Jennifer her share of the equity, $31, 559, within ninety
days or interest would accrue at five percent per annum.
Marcus was also required to pay Jennifer $750 per month in
spousal support until July 2018. Child support was set at
$1049 per month for three children, $888.57 for two, and
$601.77 for one child. The district court's decree also
established shared legal custody, granted physical care of
the children to Jennifer, and divided other marital property,
though none of these provisions are appealed here. Marcus
filed a notice of appeal April 29.