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Case No. 20-0228

In re the Marriage of Milne

Jeff Milne, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee

Alyssa Milne, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant

Robert S. Gallagher and Peter G. Gierut

Attorney for Appellee

Maria K. Pauly

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-0228
Date Published:
Sep 02, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  Partial Dissent by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (28 pages)

            An ex-husband, Jeff Milne, appeals the decree dissolving his marriage.  He challenges the court’s grant of joint legal custody and joint physical care to him and his ex-wife, Alyssa Milne.  He also challenges the spousal-support, child-support, and economic aspects of the decree.  Alyssa cross appeals the issues of joint physical care, the property division, and child support.  She also contends the decree is null and void because the judge retired the day before filing it.  OPINION HOLDS: First, because the Iowa Supreme Court assigned the retiring judge to temporary service under a provision of Iowa Code, she had the authority to enter the decree, which is valid.  We modify the decree to grant sole legal custody of the parties’ two children to Jeff along with physical care.  We remand to the district court to enter new orders on visitation and to recalculate child support payments.  Accordingly, we do not address the appeal issues pertaining to child support.  But we modify the spousal support payment by reducing it to account for Alyssa’s continuing capacity to earn a significant salary.  We affirm other economic aspects of the decree.  The parties will pay their own attorney fees, with costs taxed to Jeff.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I respectfully dissent from those portions of the majority opinion granting Jeff sole legal custody and physical care of the children. 

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