IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF DESIREE JUNE McFADON AND TIMOTHY I. McFADON Upon the Petition of DESIREE JUNE McFADON, n/k/a DESIREE JUNE WELSCH, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning TIMOTHY I. McFADON, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Stuart P.
appeals the district court's ruling on postsecondary
Douglas E. Johnston, Muscatine, for appellant.
S. Gallagher Jr. and Peter G. Gierut of Gallagher, Millage
& Gallagher, P.L.C., Bettendorf, for appellee.
by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
McFadon appeals the district court's ruling on
postsecondary education expenses. We find the district court
properly found Timothy should be required to pay a
postsecondary education subsidy for all four years S.M.
attends college. We award appellate attorney fees of $1000 to
Desiree Welsch. We affirm the decision of the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Desiree McFadon, now known as Desiree Welsch, were
previously married. They are the parents of two children,
T.M., born in 1990, and S.M., born in 1995. The parties'
dissolution decree, filed on April 14, 2006, provided:
the parties agree that post-secondary (college) education
expenses as set forth in Section 598.21(5A) of the Code of
Iowa (2003),  as amended, and that such statute
currently provides that each would pay up to one-third (1/3)
of the college expenses to include tuition, room, board, fees
and books for an in-state public institution, provided the
child is enrolled full-time and maintains a "C"
average shall be heretofore reserved.
24, 2016, Desiree filed an application requesting Timothy be
made responsible to pay his portion of S.M.'s
postsecondary education expenses. S.M. was pursuing a
four-year degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in
Prescott, Arizona, and expected to graduate in May 2017.
Desiree asked to have Timothy pay part of S.M.'s past and
present educational expenses. Timothy agreed to contribute to
S.M.'s educational expenses for the current school year,
S.M.'s senior year, but argued he should not have to pay
for prior years.
hearing was held January 25, 2017. Both parties testified
T.M. attended Muscatine Community College for one semester
and Timothy voluntarily paid one-third of the costs without
court intervention. Desiree believed the parties would
similarly enter into an agreement to pay S.M.'s
educational expenses. She testified Timothy agreed she would
take out a loan to pay for S.M.'s first year of college
and Timothy would take out a loan to pay for the second year.
She stated, however, Timothy had not paid any part of
S.M.'s postsecondary education. At the time of the
hearing, Desiree had parent plus student loans of $207, 000
for S.M.'s education.
testified he paid some money directly to S.M., but he did not
present evidence as to how much. He stated he called the
school to discuss paying the school directly but did not make
any payments to the school. Timothy testified he had
discussions with Desiree about paying for S.M.'s
education but "[n]othing ever got worked out." When
asked if he had provided $21, 000 to S.M. over the past three
years, he stated, "I've provided a lot of it,
district court found Desiree was a registered nurse with
gross annual income of $63, 000 and Timothy was a deputy
sheriff with gross annual income of $58, 200. Using the cost
to attend the University of Iowa, the court determined
Desiree and Timothy would be required to contribute a maximum
of $6219 each year. The court concluded Desiree would be
personally responsible for $24, 876 of the joint student
loans with S.M. The court found Timothy should pay ...