IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF LINDA L. DORR AND FRED L. DORR Upon the Petition of LINDA L. DORR, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning FRED L. DORR, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Dustria A.
Dorr appeals the district court's decree as to the
spousal support award, property division, and denial of
attorney fees in a marriage dissolution decree.
Matthew G. Sease of Kemp & Sease, Des Moines, for
Matthew O'Hollearn and Thomas Levis of Brick Gentry, PC,
West Des Moines, for appellee.
by Tabor, P.J., Bower, J., and Mahan, S.J. [*]
Dorr appeals the decree dissolving her marriage with Fred
Dorr, challenging the spousal support award, the division of
property, and the district court's failure to award
attorney fees. We affirm the district court's decree.
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Fred married in 1984. It was the second marriage for each
of them. Two children, now adults, were born of the marriage;
Linda has a child from her previous marriage. The parties
have lived in the same marital home since 1984.
who was born in 1953, has a high school education and has
taken some college courses. She left the workforce in 1985 to
stay home with their children. In 1994 Linda started a
business designing and creating teddy bears that she
continues to this day. From 2001 to 2011, Linda worked as an
administrative assistant, then office manager until her
position was eliminated in 2011. She then chose to retire at
age fifty-eight. She opened an antique business with her
sister in 2013. Linda has not had regular employment since
2011, and she loses money on her teddy bear and antique
business ventures. Linda inherited approximately $200, 000
following her mother's death in 2014. This inheritance is
expected to generate $10, 000 per year in income. In January
2019, Linda will begin receiving $15, 944 per year in Social
was born in 1947. He has practiced law in Iowa since before
the parties married. As partner in a law firm, Fred's
income has fluctuated, but has generally exceeded $100, 000
per year. Fred's law firm income is dependent on fees he
has generated, and he typically draws $10, 000 per month.
Fred inherited approximately $1.9 million of assets-including
stock and farmland-from various trusts and entities following
his mother's death in 2013. During his mother's life,
Fred acted as a trustee for these family entities. Fred
performed management tasks for the trusts and his
mother's care for eleven years. After his mother died,
the trusts were gradually terminated and the assets
distributed in 2015 and 2016. Fred's share of the
distributed assets now generates an income of approximately
$48, 000 per year. Fred also receives $31, 888 per year in
Social Security benefits.
filed a petition for dissolution on July 26, 2016. On
September 15, the parties filed a stipulation on temporary
matters, with Fred paying $5750 per month into a joint bank
account for Linda to pay the family expenses. Throughout the
marriage, Fred generally paid the bills coming in and
deposited money in Linda's account for other expenses.
The parties paid for college for the three children,
including withdrawing money from retirement accounts and
taking out loans to pay the expenses.
was held in August 2017. At the time of trial Linda was
sixty-four years old and Fred was sixty-nine years old. A
week prior to trial, Linda found a lump and was subsequently
diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.
court awarded each party their respective vehicles, bank
accounts, retirement accounts, debts, and inherited assets.
Linda was awarded the marital home and accompanying mortgage
and the majority of household contents. Fred was ordered to
pay Linda a $25, 000 equalization payment. The court awarded
Linda traditional spousal support in the amount of $5500 per
month until she turns sixty-six, then stepping down to $5000
per month until either party dies or Linda remarries. The
court ordered each party be responsible for their attorney
fees and one-half of the court costs. Linda appeals.
Standard of Review
standard of review for an action dissolving a marriage is de
novo. In re Marriage of Hansen, 733 N.W.2d 683, 690
(Iowa 2007). We only disturb the district court's order
if there has been a failure to do equity. In re Marriage
of McDermott, 827 N.W.2d 671, 676 (Iowa 2013). We give
weight to but are not bound by the ...