Harms v. Harms, 082719 NECA, A-18-403

Docket Nº:A-18-403
Opinion Judge:PIRTLE, JUDGE.
Party Name:Michael D. Harms, appellant, v. Nancy A. Harms, appellee.
Attorney:Jaclyn N. Daake, of Duncan, Walker, Schenker & Daake, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant. Jeffrey P. Ensz, of Lieske, Lieske & Ensz, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.
Judge Panel:Moore, Chief Judge, and Pirtle and Bishop, Judges.
Case Date:August 27, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Nebraska
 
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Michael D. Harms, appellant,

v.

Nancy A. Harms, appellee.

No. A-18-403

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

August 27, 2019

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY NEB. CT. R. APP. P. § 2-102(E).

Appeal from the District Court for Franklin County: Stephen R. Illingworth, Judge.

Jaclyn N. Daake, of Duncan, Walker, Schenker & Daake, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Jeffrey P. Ensz, of Lieske, Lieske & Ensz, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

Moore, Chief Judge, and Pirtle and Bishop, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL

PIRTLE, JUDGE.

INTRODUCTION

Michael D. Harms appeals from a decree of dissolution entered in the district court for Franklin County which dissolved his marriage to Nancy A. Harms and divided their marital property. Michael argues that the division of property was inappropriate because of discrepancies in the decree and the exclusion of certain debts from the marital estate. Michael further argues that the alimony award was an abuse of discretion. For the reasons that follow, we affirm as modified.

BACKGROUND

Michael filed a complaint for dissolution of marriage on January 22, 2016. A final hearing was held on November 1, 2017. The court entered a decree on March 27, 2018, dissolving the marriage and dividing the marital estate. The court found that Nancy's expenses that were paid by Michael should be classified as temporary alimony and that property she purchased with a joint credit card would be treated as her separate property. The court also classified certain debts as nonmarital and assigned them to Michael. Finally, the court awarded alimony to Nancy. It is from this order that Michael appeals.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Michael and Nancy were married June 9, 1984, in Seward, Nebraska. During the duration of their marriage they raised four children together, all of whom are now adults. Michael has been a farmer and rancher for all of his adult life. During the marriage Nancy became a registered nurse and has worked as such off and on throughout the marriage. In 2015, Michael's mother passed away and he inherited farmland, machinery, and money from her estate. Michael began farming this land in addition to farming his other land. Michael filed for dissolution of marriage in January 2016.

After the filing of the action, Nancy found new employment in Lincoln and moved out of the marital home in April 2016. While she brought with her some personal items, Nancy largely furnished the new apartment with purchases that were charged to the joint credit card. In addition, Nancy charged items such as eating out and travel to the same credit card. Nancy did not pay anything toward the balance on that credit card until January or February 2017. Rather, Michael paid the credit card balance as well as the cost of Nancy's cellphone and student loans.

After the separation in 2016, Michael continued his farming and ranching operation, but rented out his inherited property rather than farm it himself. In addition, Michael has taken on a part-time job as a crop adjuster. Michael and Nancy filed a joint tax return for 2016 and Michael took out a loan to pay for that tax liability in July 2017. It was not until after the end of 2016 that the finances of the two were separated.

ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

On appeal, Michael assigns that the district court erred in (1) its classification, valuation, and accounting of certain assets; (2) failing to include certain debts in the marital estate; and (3) awarding alimony to Nancy.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In actions for dissolution of marriage, an appellate court reviews the case de novo on the record to determine whether there has been an abuse of discretion by the trial judge; this standard of review applies to the trial court's determinations regarding the division of property, alimony, and attorney fees. Longo v. Longo, 266 Neb. 171, 663 N.W.2d 604 (2003). An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court's reasoning or ruling is based upon reasons that are untenable or unreasonable, and as a result a litigant is deprived of a substantial right and denied just results in the matter. Coufal v. Coufal, 291 Neb. 378, 866 N.W.2d 74 (2015).

ANALYSIS

Valuation, Classification, and Accounting of Property.

Michael argues that various items of property were either improperly classified as marital property, improperly valued, or there were errors in the calculations by the court. Specifically, Michael requests that this court adjust...

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