Donovan v. Donovan, No. 45679.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSTIGER
Citation231 Iowa 14,300 N.W. 656
Decision Date18 November 1941
Docket NumberNo. 45679.
PartiesDONOVAN v. DONOVAN.

231 Iowa 14
300 N.W. 656

DONOVAN
v.
DONOVAN.

No. 45679.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

November 18, 1941.


Appeal from District Court, Black Hawk County; A. B. Lovejoy, Judge.

A decree of divorce was entered for plaintiff. Defendant appealed.

Modified and affirmed.

[300 N.W. 657]

Pressey H. Frank, of Waterloo, for appellant.

Edw. J. Wenner, of Waterloo, for appellee.


STIGER, Justice.

Plaintiff sought a divorce from defendant on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment. There was a decree for plaintiff awarding her the custody of the children, Robert, Albert and William, who were respectively 18, 16 and 13 years of age. The decree gave plaintiff the homestead, all household furnishings, $11,000 in life insurance and $80 per month for the support of plaintiff and her children.

The residence is a modern home worth from $4,500 to $5,000, subject to a mortgage of $2,762.94. The household furnishings are of the value of approximately $1,500.

For ten years prior to the divorce, in addition to performing all of the household work, plaintiff had regular employment, earning about $70 per month. At the time of the divorce, defendant was earning about $190 per month.

The parties placed their earnings in a common fund. The homestead, furnishings and premiums on the policies were purchased and paid for with and the family supported by their joint earnings.

The home and insurance policies constituted all of plaintiff's and defendant's property and, as indicated, the decree deprived defendant of all his property.

[1] Ordinarily, a wife is only entitled to such just share of the husband's property as is reasonable under all the circumstances and only in rare cases and under unusual circumstances will the court

[300 N.W. 658]

give all of the husband's property to the wife.

In this case plaintiff's earnings were invested in the home and its furnishings. This property could not be divided between the parties. Plaintiff has the obligation of providing a home for the children and the record shows that she will be able to maintain her family in this home more economically than by renting a suitable residence. A sale of this property, under the circumstances, would be most inadvisable. Plaintiff is required by the decree to pay future insurance premiums and to take the home subject to the mortgage. It is the small amount of property owned by the parties that makes difficult an equitable solution of alimony in this case.

[2] Under all the circumstances, we are of the opinion the learned trial court was justified in awarding the property to plaintiff and this part of the decree is affirmed.

However, we are of the opinion that the provision of the decree requiring defendant to pay alimony in the sum of $80 each month should be modified. Plaintiff is earning $70 per month. We conclude from the record and especially from the testimony of the plaintiff that the amount reasonably necessary each month to support and maintain plaintiff and her children in reasonable comfort is the sum of $135. We think it is reasonable to assume from the record that the three children will contribute to a degree to their support and to the support of their mother as long as they remain in the home.

[3][4] If defendant were required to pay plaintiff $80 per month he would have left $110 and we are satisfied that this amount is not reasonably adequate for defendant's support and maintenance. As stated, the decree deprives defendant of all of his property at the age of thirty-eight years...

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7 practice notes
  • State v. Levy, No. 52602
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • July 18, 1968
    ...Co., 114 Iowa 275, 280, 86 N.W. 307, 54 L.R.A. 364, 89 Am.St.Rep. 359; State v. Booth, 121 Iowa 710, 713, 97 N.W. 74; Donovan v. Donovan, 231 Iowa 14, 17, 300 N.W. 656, 658, 659. A party should not be prejudiced by claiming a right which the law gives him. It is improper to challenge a part......
  • Johnson v. Kinney, No. 46024.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 15, 1942
    ...testimony on cross examination is not voluntary in the sense that it constitutes a waiver of the statutory privilege. Donovan v. Donovan, 231 Iowa 14, 18, 300 N.W. 656, 659, and cases cited; Cross v. Equitable Life, 228 Iowa 800, 805, 293 N.W. 464;Lauer v. Banning, 140 Iowa 319, 328, 118 N.......
  • Bradshaw v. Iowa Methodist Hospital, No. 50512
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 12, 1962
    ...I. & P. Ry. Co., 124 Iowa 623, 100 N.W. 543; Reutkemeier v. Nolte, 179 Iowa 342, 161 N.W. 290, L.R.A.1917D, 273; and Donovan v. Donovan, 231 Iowa 14, 300 N.W. 656, we specifically held a privileged communication was not available for impeachment. In other words it cannot be used to defeat a......
  • Tavener v. Tax Comm'n of Iowa, No. 45711.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 18, 1941
    ...right of succession is to a partial interest in the real estate or to the entire interest therein? In either case the right to succession [300 N.W. 656]is taxed, that tax being based upon the appraised value of the real estate for purposes of taxation. Section 7306 of the Code provides that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • State v. Levy, No. 52602
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • July 18, 1968
    ...Co., 114 Iowa 275, 280, 86 N.W. 307, 54 L.R.A. 364, 89 Am.St.Rep. 359; State v. Booth, 121 Iowa 710, 713, 97 N.W. 74; Donovan v. Donovan, 231 Iowa 14, 17, 300 N.W. 656, 658, 659. A party should not be prejudiced by claiming a right which the law gives him. It is improper to challenge a part......
  • Johnson v. Kinney, No. 46024.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • December 15, 1942
    ...testimony on cross examination is not voluntary in the sense that it constitutes a waiver of the statutory privilege. Donovan v. Donovan, 231 Iowa 14, 18, 300 N.W. 656, 659, and cases cited; Cross v. Equitable Life, 228 Iowa 800, 805, 293 N.W. 464;Lauer v. Banning, 140 Iowa 319, 328, 118 N.......
  • Bradshaw v. Iowa Methodist Hospital, No. 50512
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 12, 1962
    ...I. & P. Ry. Co., 124 Iowa 623, 100 N.W. 543; Reutkemeier v. Nolte, 179 Iowa 342, 161 N.W. 290, L.R.A.1917D, 273; and Donovan v. Donovan, 231 Iowa 14, 300 N.W. 656, we specifically held a privileged communication was not available for impeachment. In other words it cannot be used to defeat a......
  • Tavener v. Tax Comm'n of Iowa, No. 45711.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 18, 1941
    ...right of succession is to a partial interest in the real estate or to the entire interest therein? In either case the right to succession [300 N.W. 656]is taxed, that tax being based upon the appraised value of the real estate for purposes of taxation. Section 7306 of the Code provides that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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