IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF DAVID CHARLES BALIK AND DEBORAH MARY BALIK Upon the Petition of DAVID CHARLES BALIK, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning DEBORAH MARY BALIK, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Paul D. Miller,
Balik appeals the economic provisions of the decree
dissolving her marriage to David Balik.
A. Volz of Ackley, Kopecky & Kingery, LLP, Cedar Rapids,
Crystal L. Usher of Nazette, Marner, Nathanson & Shea
LLP, Cedar Rapids, for appellee.
by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE
and David Balik married in 1987, separated in 2014, and
divorced in 2017. On appeal, Deborah contends (1) the
district court inequitably divided their property; (2) she
should have been awarded spousal support; and (3) David
should have been ordered to pay her trial attorney fees. She
also seeks an award of appellate attorney fees.
district court valued the assets subject to division at $592,
160. The court limited Deborah's award to forty percent
of that total, based on a finding she "dissipated or
wasted marital assets."
does not challenge the total valuation figure. Instead, she
argues the finding of dissipation was unwarranted and she
should have received half "the value [of $592, 160] for
a total of $296, 080.00." She requests an additional
$59, 216 to equalize the property distribution.
court may generally consider a spouse's dissipation or
waste of marital assets prior to dissolution when making a
property distribution." In re Marriage of
Kimbro, 826 N.W.2d 696, 700 (Iowa 2013). "The
dissipation doctrine applies when a spouse's conduct
during the period of separation "results in the
loss or disposal of property otherwise subject to division at
the time of divorce." Id. at 700-01 (emphasis
added). "[T]he doctrine does not apply if the spending
spouse used the monies for "legitimate household and
business expenses." Id. at 701.
district court made the following pertinent findings on
It is clear that from approximately 2008 on that Deborah
spent more than $200, 000 which is largely unaccounted for.
This includes the home equity loan, her inheritance, and 401
(k) proceeds. Her testimony that this large amount of money
went for living expenses is simply not credible. Some of it
may have gone for marital expenses, but a substantial amount
has more to do with Deborah's lack of money skills and
out-of-control spending. As an example, Deborah acknowledged
taking more than $4500 in ...