IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF BENJAMIN WILLIAM INGERSOLL AND JENNIFER LIZABETH INGERSOLL Upon the Petition of BENJAMIN WILLIAM INGERSOLL, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning JENNIFER LIZABETH INGERSOLL, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Richard
H. Davidson, Judge.
father appeals the custody, child-support, and
division-of-assets determinations of a decree of dissolution.
W. Mailander and Jonathan J. Mailander of Mailander Law
Office, Anita, for appellant.
Krisanne C. Weimer of Weimer Law, P.C., Council Bluffs, and
Helen M. Broadway Savage of Savage Law, Council Bluffs, for
by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
William Ingersoll appeals the district court's
dissolution decree granting joint physical care of the child,
A.M.I., with Jennifer Lizabeth Veon Ingersoll. Benjamin
requests the decree be modified to place A.M.I. in his
physical care. Benjamin also asks for a modification to the
child support and economic provisions of the decree.
Background Facts and Proceedings
(Ben) and Jennifer Ingersoll were married on July 13, 2014.
One child, A.M.I., was born during the marriage in 2014.
Jennifer has a child from a previous relationship, A.F., for
whom she has sole custody. Ben helped raise A.F. since 2013,
when A.F. was one and a half years old, and considers A.F.
his child. During the marriage, the parties resided at a
house in Villisca owned by Ben prior to the marriage. During
the marriage, each maintained their own bank account as well
as a joint account, and generally kept their funds separate.
employed by Wellman Dynamics in Creston as a maintenance
technician working second shift. He has an associate's
degree in automotive repair. He continues to live in the
worked as a registered nurse for multiple employers
throughout the marriage. She has a bachelor's degree in
nursing and some post-graduate education. She has a history
of opioid addiction and successfully completed treatment. In
April 2016, Jennifer's nursing employment was terminated
under accusations of diverting medications. Shortly
thereafter, Jennifer's nursing license was suspended and
she pled guilty to a felony charge of prohibited acts, for
which she was granted a deferred judgment and placed on
probation. Jennifer is currently unemployed aside from odd
jobs. She can reinstate her nursing license following a
substance-abuse evaluation, but she has not done so. She
currently takes prescription medication to manage pain from
fibromyalgia. Jennifer submits to regular testing with her
doctor to monitor use of her medications. The records show
positive results are limited to her prescribed levels of
medication. Jennifer has substantial student loan debt.
Jennifer has lived with her mother in Stanton since the
parties separated in April 2016. Initially, Ben and Jennifer
shared placement of A.M.I. each week. Ben filed a petition to
dissolve the marriage on May 31. The parties stipulated to
joint legal custody of A.M.I., and each requested physical
care. The district court entered a temporary order on July 1,
which granted the parties temporary joint legal custody and
joint physical care. Under the order, Jennifer had placement
Wednesday to Sunday, Ben Sunday to Wednesday. The court set
child support payments at $200 per month from Ben to
trial, the district court entered its dissolution decree on
November 11, 2017. The decree granted Ben and Jennifer joint
legal custody and joint physical care, with a modification
requested by Ben to alternate A.M.I.'s care on Saturdays
to evenly split time between parents. The decree calculated
child support using some overtime hours in Ben's income
and adopting Jennifer's suggested imputed income,
requiring Ben to pay $325 per month in child support. The
court divided the marital assets and debts, including equity
in the family home, Ben's retirement accounts, and
medical debts. The court also awarded Jennifer a portion of
her requested attorney fees.
appeals the district court ruling of joint physical care and
seeks physical care of A.M.I. Ben appeals the child-support
calculation, distribution of assets, and awarding of attorney
Standard of Review
review dissolution of marriage cases do novo. In re
Marriage of McDermott, 827 N.W.2d 671, 676 (Iowa 2013).
We have a duty to examine the entire record and adjudicate
anew the rights on the issues properly presented. In re
Marriage of Williams, 589 N.W.2d 759, 761 (Iowa Ct. App.
1998). Generally, we give considerable deference to the
district court's credibility determinations because the
court has a firsthand opportunity to hear the evidence and
view the witnesses. In re Marriage of Brown, 487
N.W.2d 331, 332 (Iowa 1992). We will disturb the district
court's ruling only when there has been a ...