Iowa Court of Appeals Issues New Divorce Rulings
August 21st, 2013
Iowa Court of Appeals Releases August 7, 2013 Rulings
In Re the Marriage of Mulder
The parties had two children, ages thirteen and fifteen. In addition they had considerable equity in their marital home. The court awarded the marital home to the mother, and ordered that she provide half of the net equity in the property to the father within 90 days of the oldest child graduating high school. The father appealed the decision, arguing that the provision was unfair. The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling. In doing so, they noted that Iowa Code section 598.21 directed them to take into consideration which party was going to remain in the house with the children post divorce. In this case, they reasoned that since the mother was staying at the home the provision benefited the children; thus, making it proper.
In Re the Marriage of Schoepske
The Black Hawk County District Court awarded the mother primary physical care of the children. The father appealed the decision and argued that he should be granted shared physical care of the children. The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court decision. They noted that the father had sleep apnea and often fell asleep while parenting. Further, they noted the father's instances of physical aggression. Accordingly, they held that it was in the best interests of the children to be in their mother's primary physical care.
In Re the Marriage of Tollufsrud
The Winneshiek County District Court had to wrangle with the issue of determining child support for a part time farmer. In the action the father was a full-time mechanic who earned approximately $40,000.00 per year. In addition, he farmed 500 acres and had an average farm loss due to accelerated depreciation. The court determined that he wouldn't be able to used the depreciation, as he was merely a hobby farmer. Thus, they set his income at approximately $70,000.00 per year. On appeal, the court held that he wasn't a hobby farmer as he sold significant grain. However, they held the amount used by the trial court was appropriate, as roughly the same income figure was arrived at if straight-line depreciation was used.
In Re the Marriage of Zenk
The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's alimony award of $3,000.00 per month for five years. Mark Zenk and Linda Zenk were married for approximately nine years. They started a mechanic's shop together a few years into the marriage. Linda made approximately $50,000.00 per year at the shop and Mark made approximately $140,000.00 per year at the shop. The appellate court upheld the trial court decision and reasoned that district court's are given considerable latitude when it comes to the issue of alimony.