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Case No. 19-1666

In re the Marriage of Houser

Susan Flanagan Houser, Petitioner-Appellee/Cross-Appellant

Thomas J. Houser, Respondent-Appellant/Cross-Appellee

Attorney for Appellant

Becky S. Knutson

Attorney for Appellee

Andrew B. Howie

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 17, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Thomas J. Houser appeals and Susan Flanagan Houser cross-appeals the economic provisions of the decree dissolving their thirty-one-year marriage.  The main issue at trial was Susan’s request for spousal support.  The court ordered Tom to pay Susan $5500 per month for twenty-four months, then $3000 per month for the next 132 months.  The court also ordered Tom to pay $35,000 of Susan’s attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: After considering the parties’ arguments and the factors set out in section 598.21A(1) (2018), as well as both Susan’s economic need and the tax consequences of the award, we modify the decree to award Susan $2500 per month in spousal support for a period of 156 months (from the date of the decree) and terminating on Susan’s remarriage or either party’s death.  We find no abuse of discretion in the district court’s award of trial attorney fees to Susan.  After considering all applicable factors and circumstances, we decline to award either party appellate attorney fees.   

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