IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF JULIE ANN ANKENBAUER AND MARTYN DAVID ANKENBAUER Upon the Petition of JULIE ANN ANKENBAUER, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning MARTYN DAVID ANKENBAUER, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James
M. Richardson, Judge.
Ankenbauer appeals the economic provisions of the decree
dissolving her marriage to Martyn Ankenbauer.
AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.
E. Focht of Focht Law Office, Council Bluffs, for appellant.
Michael J. Winter, Council Bluffs, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
DANILSON, Chief Judge.
Ankenbauer and Martyn Ankenbauer were married for forty-three
years at the time of the dissolution trial in May 2017. Both
parties had been employed for more than thirty years and both
were retired at the time of the dissolution.
the marriage, Julie worked for the federal government. She
was employed in the postal department and the Corp of
Engineers. Julie retired in December 2010. In 2015, Julie
cashed out her retirement account, a Thrift Savings Plan
(TSP), which at that time totaled $76, 192.18. From that
total, $15, 238.44 was withheld for federal tax, and Julie
received a lump sum of $60, 953.74. Julie used $43, 813 to
pay off the mortgage on the couple's home purchased in
1984,  $4275 to pay 2015 taxes on the property,
and $4774 to pay a joint credit card debt. The parties placed
the remaining funds in their safe, which Martyn
retains. In cashing out the TSP account, Julie no
longer receives a monthly supplement annuity. In lieu of
Social Security benefits, Julie receives benefits via an
annuity from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Her
gross monthly benefits are $2823 per month. Julie had been
providing the couple's health insurance (via a $560 per
month deduction from her monthly benefits). When she no
longer carries Martyn on her health insurance, Julie's
net monthly income will be $2035. Her monthly expenses are
$1828, which includes $700 for rent. She asked that the
district court award her $500 per month in spousal support
and fifty percent of Martyn's Iowa Public Employees
Retirement System (IPERS) benefits.
had been employed by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's
Department for about thirty years. His affidavit of financial
status indicates he currently receives Social Security and
IPERS benefits. Per Martyn's 2016 IPERS income
verification, his net monthly income is
$2496.80 and his Social Security statement
indicates a monthly income of $1456 with no deductions, for a
combined monthly income of $3952.80. Martyn resides in the
marital residence. When asked what his monthly expenses were,
Martyn testified he had paid all the household bills for last
ten-month period, which totaled $5400. He stated Julie should
pay one-half of that amount, but then acknowledged some of
those expenses were his alone. He did not provide a statement
of expenses pre-trial. When asked for his "best
estimate" of his monthly expenses, he responded,
"Don't have a clue." Martyn testified he would
not qualify for Medicare for "twenty-four months,"
and he would have to purchase insurance when Julie's
policy no longer covered him. He estimated coverage would
cost "in the neighborhood of $600 to $700 a month."
district court determined each party should receive fifty
percent of the marital assets. The court awarded to Julie
one-half the equity in the marital residence; the jewelry she
had purchased during the marriage, valued at $5000; a 2003
Honda, valued at $1500; and the household goods the parties
had previously divided.
court awarded Martyn the marital residence, valued at $140,
000; the numerous firearms purchased or inherited during the
marriage, valued at $15, 000; a 2008 Honda, valued at $5500;
the funds in his savings and checking accounts, in the amount
of $7000; and the household goods the parties had previously
divided. The court set aside to Martyn $25, 000 he inherited
after his mother died in 2015. The court ordered Martyn to make
an equalization payment to Julie for $80, 000. The court did
not divide Martyn's IPERS benefits and did not award
spousal support. Julie filed a motion to enlarge and amend,
which the court denied. Julie now appeals.
review dissolution cases de novo. In re Marriage of
Sullins, 715 N.W.2d 242, 247 (Iowa 2006). We will
disturb a ruling only when there has been a failure to do
equity. In re Marriage of Benson, 545 N.W.2d 252,
257 (Iowa 1996).
argues the economic provisions of the decree are inequitable.
Iowa is an equitable distribution state. This "means
that courts divide the property of the parties at the time of
divorce, except any property excluded from the divisible
estate as separate property, in an equitable manner in light
of the particular circumstances of the parties." All
property of the marriage that exists at the time of the