IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KIMBERLEY IRENE BARNS AND PHILLIP TYLER BARNS
And Concerning PHILLIP TYLER BARNS, Respondent-Appellant. Upon the Petition of KIMBERLEY IRENE BARNS, Petitioner-Appellee,
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L.
Barns challenges the economic provisions of the decree
dissolving his marriage to Kimberly Barns.
Natalie H. Cronk of Cronk & Waterman, PLC, Iowa City, for
Allison M. Heffern and Kristen A. Shaffer of Shuttleworth
& Ingersoll, P.L.C.., Cedar Rapids, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
(Phil) Barns appeals the decree dissolving his marriage to
Kimberly Barns. He challenges the trial court's award of
spousal support to Kimberly as inequitable in both amount and
duration and challenges the disposition of post-martial
growth in the value of premarital assets. Kimberly requests
an award of appellate attorney fees.
Background Facts and Proceedings
and Phil were married July 20, 1996, when Kimberly was
twenty-six and Phil was forty. The marriage produced three
children: JTB (born in 2002), EAB (born in 2005), and APB
(born in 2007). Kimberly and Phil met when they both worked
at the same hospital in San Bernardino, California. Kimberly
was a full-time labor-and-delivery nurse; Phil was an
emergency room physician. At the time of their marriage, they
lived in Long Beach. Kimberly obtained her Bachelor's
degree in nursing five months after the initiation of the
summer 1996, Phil accepted a position at Mercy Hospital in
Cedar Rapids. The couple bought a home in Cedar Rapids, where
Phil continued to live at the time of trial. In 1997, while
working at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Phil also began
working at Mercy Hospital in Dubuque. Phil left his position
at Mercy in Cedar Rapids in 1998 and continued to work part
time in Dubuque. In 1999, he joined Great River Medical
Center in Burlington. The couple bought an additional home in
Nauvoo, Illinois and split their time between the two homes,
depending on Phil's work schedule.
early 2000s, Phil and his father began raising bison at his
father's farm in Illinois to market as a healthier
alternative to red meat. Kimberly assisted the business,
selling the meat at farmers' markets. The bison business
was never profitable and was dissolved in 2013. Additionally,
prior to their marriage, Phil had purchased a home in Lee
County for his mother to use as a school. He retained
ownership of this home throughout the marriage and at the
time of trial. Phil's father died in 2010 and Phil and
his sister are the sole heirs to their father's estate,
which includes their father's original farm and his
interest in a farm Phil and his father purchased together.
moving to Iowa, Kimberly initially worked full time as a
labor-and-delivery nurse at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids.
After less than a year, she reduced to part time. Kimberly
further reduced her hours after the birth of JTB. She
continued working as a nurse until six months after EAB was
born, at which time she did not have any other steady
employment and became mainly a stay-at-home mother.
2006, Phil left Great River Medical Center for a position at
Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. He generally worked more than
forty hours per week along with work associated with the
bison business, while Kimberly provided the majority of the
day-to-day care for the children. In 2008, their Cedar Rapids
home burned down and they sold the Nauvoo home. The family
lived in a trailer on the Cedar Rapids property while the
house was rebuilt on the same lot. Kimberly acted as the
general contractor for rebuilding the home, which took nearly
two years to complete.
2010, Kimberly started working as an assistant directress at
Cedar Valley Montessori, where the youngest child attended at
the time. The other two children had attended there before
going to school. Kimberly initially worked twenty-five hours
per week while the children were in school, which eventually
increased to thirty-five hours. She earned approximately
eleven dollars per hour. In 2014, she obtained a part-time
position as an RN at Mercy in Cedar Rapids, where she
continued to work at the time of trial. She typically worked
thirty to thirty-five hours with a minimum of twenty hours
guaranteed. Kimberly also continued to occasionally pick up
shifts at Cedar Valley. If she worked forty hours per week,
she believed she would earn approximately $53, 000.00 per
worked at Mercy in Iowa City until February 2017. He then
started working at Finley Hospital in Dubuque as the director
of the emergency department. He continued to work at Finley
at the time of trial. He earns $180.00 per hour with a
minimum of 1728 hours per year, in addition to shift
differentials, incentives and bonuses. He calculated his
gross annual income as $354, 646.00.
relationship between Kimberly and Phil broke down in 2013.
Kimberly announced to Phil that she wanted to dissolve the
marriage in February 2013 but remained in the marital home
where the atmosphere was strained and the parties slept in
different rooms. She moved out at the end of November or
beginning of December and moved into a rental in Marion with