IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF THOMAS H. JENN AND VERMONA L. JENN Upon the Petition of THOMAS H. JENN, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning VERMONA L. JENN, n/k/a VERMONA L. BOYLE, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, John J.
and Vermona appeal and cross-appeal, respectively, from their
Christopher F. O'Donohoe of Elwood, O'Donohoe, Braun
& White, LLP, New Hampton, for appellant/cross-appellee.
J. Parrish of Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty &
Parrish, P.L.C., Decorah, for appellee/cross-appellant.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ.
and Vermona Jenn appeal and cross-appeal, respectively, from
the decree dissolving their marriage. We affirm the decree
but modify it.
and Vermona married in 2006. Thomas was fifty years old, and
Vermona was fifty-two years old. It was her sixth marriage
and his third. Thomas entered the marriage with more assets
than Vermona. For example, Thomas had a farm.
to the marriage, the parties executed a premarital agreement.
As will be discussed, the agreement provided that "if
their marriage is not successful that each [would] retain all
property owned by them at the time of their marriage."
filed for dissolution in 2016. The district court dissolved
the marriage and distributed the assets and liabilities
between the parties.
court also awarded Vermona spousal support in the amount of
$500 per month until either party dies. The payment reduces
to $250 per month when Thomas reaches sixty-six years old.
The payment obligation continues even if Vermona remarries.
appeal, Thomas argues Vermona is entitled to no spousal
support. Vermona argues the spousal-support award should be
increased. She also challenges the division of property and
requests appellate attorney fees.
proceedings are reviewed de novo. In re Marriage of
McDermott, 827 N.W.2d 671, 676 (Iowa 2013).
"Although we give weight to the factual
findings of the district court, we are not bound by
them." In re Marriage of Mauer, 874 N.W.2d 103,
106 (Iowa 2016). We will only "disturb the district
court's 'ruling only where there has been a failure
to do equity.'" McDermott, 827 N.W.2d at
676 (citation omitted).
first address Vermona's cross-appeal challenging the
property settlement. She asks us to modify the decree to
award her an equalization payment of $228, 000, a tractor,
and skid loader. She reasons this award would be equitable
because her efforts helped Thomas's farm appreciate in
value over the course of the marriage. Cf. In re Marriage
of Keener, 728 N.W.2d 188, 193 (Iowa 2007) (noting
"Iowa is an equitable distribution state" ...