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In re Marriage of Rocksvold

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 5, 2018

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF EMILY ROCKSVOLD AND ANDREW ORVELLA Upon the Petition of EMILY ROCKSVOLD, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning ANDREW ORVELLA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge.

         Emily Rocksvold appeals, and Andrew Orvella cross-appeals, from the decree dissolving their marriage.

          Erik W. Fern of Berry Law Firm, Decorah, for appellant.

          Crystal L. Usher of Nazette, Marner, Nathanson & Shea, LLP, Cedar Rapids, for appellee.

          Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         Parties to a divorce decree appeal and cross-appeal from the property distribution, spousal support, custody, visitation, and attorney-fee provisions of the decree.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Emily Rocksvold and Andrew Orvella married in 2011 and divorced in 2017. They had one child, born in 2012.

         Rocksvold was thirty-nine years old at the time of trial. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in geology and held various jobs over the years. When she met Orvella, she was working for an environmental and geotechnical consulting and engineering firm in Minnesota as an environmental scientist. She earned $48, 000 a year "plus quarterly bonuses based on billable hours." The position carried health and retirement benefits. Shortly before her marriage to Orvella, Rocksvold resigned her position. In a letter of resignation, she stated her decision was precipitated in part by her wish to better support Orvella and his 2000-acre farming operation. She testified to Orvella's assurances that he would be able to support her, as well as her child from another relationship, on his income of approximately $150, 000 annually.

         Following the marriage, Rocksvold worked briefly in her field. At the time of trial, she was employed as a substitute para-educator in two local school systems.

         Orvella graduated from high school in 2004 and attended a college of business for one year. After that point, he began farming with his father. He entered the cattle business for a year but returned to crop farming. At the time of trial, he worked as a truck driver.

         Rocksvold filed the dissolution petition in 2015. Until the filing, she served as primary caretaker of the child. After the filing, the district court granted the parents temporary joint physical care of the child. The court also ordered Orvella to pay temporary spousal support of $700 per month as well as child support.

         Two-and-a-half years elapsed between Rocksvold's filing of the petition and trial. During that period, Rocksvold filed several motions to compel disclosure of Orvella's income and assets. Some ...


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