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In re Marriage of Girschek

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 20, 2019

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF BRENDAN PAUL GIRSCHEK AND JANICE GISELLE MARIN Upon the Petition of BRENDAN PAUL GIRSCHEK, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning JANICE GISELLE MARIN, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.

         Brendan Girschek appeals the amount of the equalization payment the district court determined was due to Janice Marin in the dissolution of the parties' marriage.

          Brandon M. Schwartz of Schwartz Law Firm, Oakdale, Minnesota, for appellant.

          Allison M. Heffern and Kerry A. Finley of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         Brendan Girschek appeals the amount of the equalization payment the district court determined was due to Janice Marin in the dissolution of the parties' marriage. Upon our review, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In October 2017, the district court entered a decree dissolving the marriage of Brendan Girschek and Janice Marin. Therein, the court noted the parties had executed a stipulation of settlement. The court found the stipulation was "fair and equitable," and the court fully adopted and incorporated the agreement into its decree. Attached to and referenced in the parties' stipulation is the parties' "Property Settlement Analysis" which lists the parties' assets and debts and assigns each to either Brendan or Janice. It provides for an equalization payment to Janice in the amount of $138, 089.06.

         Relevant here, the parties' stipulation states that the parties' Chicago, IL property

shall become the exclusive property of Brendan and title to said real estate is hereby quieted in Brendan. Brendan shall assume all debts related thereto and shall hold Janice harmless from all debts and liabilities in connection with this property. Brendan shall list the property for sale within 30 days of the entry of the Decree. Janice shall sign a Quit Claim Deed to the property at the time of the closing on the real estate and shall fully cooperate with Brendan with regards to the sale. The listing price and sale price shall be within the exclusive control and discretion of Brendan.

         The stipulation further states, concerning the equalization payment:

Brendan will pay to Janice the total sum of $138, 089.06 within ten (10) days of the closing on the sale of the Chicago real estate . . . if the home sells for $1, 000, 000.00. The equalization payment shall be adjusted based on the sale of the home to ensure an equal distribution of the marital property. It is the intent of the parties that the equalization payment constitutes an equal distribution of the martial property. If this amount is not paid when due, it shall constitute a judgment drawing interest at 8% per annum, starting the day it is due. This judgment shall constitute a lien on the real estate awarded to Brendan under this stipulation. Janice shall promptly issue a satisfaction of judgment upon receipt of the lump sum payment.

         The Chicago home sold in March 2018 for $926, 500. Thereafter, Brendan filed a motion seeking approval of his distribution of proceeds from the sale of the Chicago home. Brendan explained "[w]ith closing costs, commissions and other necessary fees associated with the sale, including the pay-off of the . . . mortgage, there was $747, 308.71 of seller debits to close on the sale. . . . Subtracting those costs from the sales price, Brendan stated the total funds realized from the sale was $179, 318.12. In his overall distribution calculation, Brendan added all of the closing costs as debt to his column, which has the effect of having Janice take on half of those costs in the final property ...


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