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Case No. 17-0831

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

In re the Marriage of Demmer

Joshua Robert Demmer, Petitioner-Appellee

Jacquelyn A. Demmer, Respondent-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant

Dawn D. Long and Kevin C. Rigdon

Attorney for Appellee

Crystal L. Usher

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 12, 2018

           Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Monica Wittig, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., Mullins, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J. (20 pages)

            Jacquelyn (Jacque) Demmer appeals from the custody, support, and property distribution provisions of the decree dissolving her marriage to Joshua (Josh) Demmer.  Jacque contends the trial court erred in granting sole legal custody and physical care of the parties’ three children to Josh, asserts the court improperly placed restrictions on visitation with her parents, erred in not awarding her spousal support, failed to divide the marital property equitably, erred in awarding Josh with the tax dependency exemptions, and improperly calculated child support.  OPINION HOLDS: I. Because the parties agreed to joint legal custody, the trial court should not have granted sole legal custody to Josh.  II. We find no reason to disturb the placement of the children in Josh’s physical care.  III. Josh did not seek any restriction or supervision of Jacque’s parenting time and the trial court gave no reviewable reason for restricting the maternal grandparents’ access to the children.  We strike these restrictions from the decree.  IV. We find no failure to do equity in the district court’s distribution of marital assets and debts and its refusal to award spousal support.  V. The trial court properly awarded the tax exemptions to Josh, but providing that should Jacque have sufficient annual income to benefit from the tax exemptions, she would be entitled to use the second of the three children as an exemption.  VI. We affirm the child-support calculation. VII. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Jacque trial attorney fees.  VIII. We award no appellate attorney fees.  IX. Costs are taxed one-quarter to Josh and three-quarters to Jacque.

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