IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF JACKIE LEA SPITZMILLER AND SCOTT LOUIS SPITZMILLER Upon the Petition of JACKIE LEA SPITZMILLER, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning SCOTT LOUIS SPITZMILLER, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Paul L. Macek,
Spitzmiller appeals the spousal support provision of the
decree dissolving her marriage to Scott Spitzmiller; Scott
cross-appeals the property equalization payment.
Michael J. McCarthy of McCarthy, Lammers & Hines, LLP,
Davenport, for appellant.
L. Clausen and Ryan M. Beckenbaugh of H.J. Dane Law Office,
Davenport, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor,
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
appeal and cross-appeal raise challenges to the spousal
support and property distribution provisions of a dissolution
Background Facts and Proceedings
and Scott Spitzmiller married in 2000 and divorced in 2017.
The couple has one adult child. Jackie was fifty-two years
old at the time of trial, and Scott was forty-seven.
worked as a cement mason foreman, a job that took a toll on
his back and knees. He earned between $60, 000 and $68, 000
in the four years preceding trial and had an employment-based
pension plan that would afford him retirement income at the
age of fifty-eight.
was a high-school graduate. She went to cosmetology school as
well as community college for highway construction, and took
"some technical engineering, mechanical drafting in the
state of Colorado." She had employment experience as a
forklift driver but most recently cleaned houses part-time.
was an admitted alcoholic. She had a criminal record grounded
in her alcoholism, which reduced her prospects for full-time
couple purchased a home in 2013 for $72, 500. The home was
saddled with a thirty-year mortgage and little equity. The
couple owned several vehicles in addition to personal
district court found Scott's annual earning capacity at
the time of trial was $60, 000 and Jackie's earning
capacity was $18, 000. The court originally ordered Scott to
pay Jackie $700 per month in traditional alimony until Jackie
married, Scott drew pension benefits, or either party died,
whichever occurred first. On Scott's motion for enlarged
findings and conclusions, the court reduced the award to $450
per month. The court ordered Scott's pension divided
pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order, valued the
home at $72, 000 and awarded it to Scott together with the
mortgage, distributed the vehicles and ...