IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF DEBORAH WHITFORD AND RICHARD WHITFORD Upon the Petition of DEBORAH WHITFORD, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning RICHARD WHITFORD, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John D.
Whitford appeals the district court's dismissal of his
petition to modify the parties' dissolution decree.
D. Puryear and Eric S. Mail of Puryear Law, PC, Davenport,
L. Clausen and Ryan M. Beckenbaugh of H.J. Dane Law Office,
Davenport, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
decide whether the district court erred in dismissing a
petition to modify the language of a dissolution decree and
qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) filed in 2006.
decree dissolving the marriage of Deborah and Richard
Whitford ordered the division of Richard's pension by the
[D]ivide the pension payment in half and multiply the result
by the percentage arrived at by dividing the number of years
of this marriage by the number of years Richard was employed
by John Deere. In the event he should die before or while he
is receiving pension payments Deborah shall be entitled to
receive any survivor benefits on his pension authorized under
the pension plan.
"uncontested" QDRO filed shortly thereafter used
the following language to divide the pension:
Alternate Payee, Deborah L. Whitford, as Alternate Payee of
the benefit of Richard H. Whitford, Participant under the
John Deere Pension Plan is awarded one half of the pension
benefit multiplied by a fraction wherein the numerator is the
number of months married and the denominator shall be the
total number of months worked by the Participant, Richard H.
appeal was dismissed as untimely. Richard then filed a motion
for new trial challenging the cited language. The district
court denied the motion.
modification petition was filed eleven years later. He
alleged, "The Court in both the decree and the QDRO made
a mistake in the calculation of the formula to be used in
dividing [his] pension." He also alleged "the Court
made a mistake in awarding the Petitioner survivor benefits
under [his] retirement plan."
moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that "there
is absolutely no mistake in this matter and the trial court
judge has denied [him] each and every time he has asserted
this argument regarding a modification of the formula used to
divide his pension ...