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In re Marriage of Dekeyser

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 20, 2019

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF SHERRY DIANNE DEKEYSER AND ANDREW ROMAN PERGIEL Upon the Petition of SHERRY DIANNE DEKEYSER, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning ANDREW ROMAN PERGIEL, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Kevin McKeever, Judge.

         Spouses appeal and cross-appeal the property division, spousal support award, and attorney fee award in a dissolution decree. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Sasha L. Monthei of Scheldrup Blades Schrock Smith, PC, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

          Joseph C. Pavelich of Spies, Pavelich & Foley, Iowa City, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Sherry "Dianne" Dekeyser appeals a portion of the property division, the award of spousal support, and the award of attorney fees in the parties' dissolution decree. Andrew Pergiel cross-appeals on the allocation of a retirement account. We affirm the district court's decree.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Andrew and Dianne met in March 2008 and married in December. Throughout the marriage, the parties kept their assets and debts separate, maintained separate bank accounts, spent money on their own children without consulting the other, and did not plan to pool their assets during retirement.

         Dianne, who was sixty years old at the time of trial, has an adult child from a prior relationship. Dianne obtained a medical degree in 2001, incurring significant student loans. She became a board-certified psychiatrist in 2008. Dianne owned her home in Fort Madison, which Andrew moved into in February 2009. Dianne has a number of medical conditions. At the time of trial, Dianne was employed as the psychiatrist in charge at a hospital with a salary of $234, 000.

         Andrew, who was sixty-three years old at the time of trial, has two adult children from a prior marriage. He paid child support for the children and otherwise spent significant sums on his children throughout the marriage. Andrew sold his home at the beginning of the marriage. Andrew has a degree in business administration and worked primarily in the computer field prior to the marriage but held only short term jobs from 2003 through 2011. In 2011, Andrew obtained fulltime employment in Dubuque. He then moved to Connecticut for different employment. After the Connecticut job, Andrew appears to have mostly had part- time or temporary employment. Generally, Andrew paid his expenses from accrued savings, retirement accounts, and an inheritance. Andrew also has medical conditions including chronic cardiac issues and underwent hip replacement surgery in September 2015. Andrew receives over $1600 per month in social security disability benefits. Andrew's cardiologist testified in deposition that he has no functional limitations from his chronic cardiac issues.

         The parties lived apart for over half the marriage. In 2011, Andrew moved to Dubuque for fourteen months, then Connecticut for ten months. When he lost that job and moved back to Dianne's Iowa home, Dianne had moved to Waterloo for a temporary position. Dianne then obtained a position in Arizona starting in January 2014 and the parties purchased a home there, each paying $30, 000 for the down payment. Andrew and Dianne are both on the deed, but the mortgage is only in Dianne's name. Andrew moved to the Arizona home in April 2014. Dianne moved back to Iowa in December, working in Spencer and then Iowa City. Dianne continued to pay the mortgage for the Arizona home while Andrew paid housing association fees and some utilities.

         Dianne filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on December 24, 2015. Dianne sought a protective order against Andrew, but the parties reached an agreement, including that their funds would remain separate and Andrew would contribute toward the Arizona home. Eventually, Dianne applied for and received a permanent protective order against Andrew in September 2016 and obtained exclusive possession of the Arizona home.

         At Andrew's request, the parties participated in conciliation. Andrew filed, then later withdrew, a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. He also requested temporary support and attorney fees. On January 3, 2017, the court granted Andrew $1000 per month in temporary spousal support. ...


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