In re Marriage of Walker, 111319 AZAPP2, 2 CA-CV 2019-0075-FC
|Docket Nº:||2 CA-CV 2019-0075-FC|
|Opinion Judge:||ESPINOSA, JUDGE:|
|Party Name:||In re the Marriage of Brent E. Walker, Petitioner/Appellant, and Kathryn A. Siemsen-Walker, nka Kathryn A. Siemsen, Respondent/Appellee.|
|Attorney:||Remick West-Watt PLC, Tucson By J.M. Stanlee West-Watt Counsel for Petitioner/Appellant Liberty, Audette & Manzi, Tucson By Jennifer Manzi Counsel for Respondent/Appellee|
|Judge Panel:||Judge Espinosa authored the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Eppich and Judge Eckerstrom concurred.|
|Case Date:||November 13, 2019|
|Court:||Court of Appeals of Arizona|
Not for Publication - Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court
Appeal from the Superior Court in Pima County No. D20160189 The Honorable Jennifer Langford, Judge Pro Tempore
Remick West-Watt PLC, Tucson By J.M. Stanlee West-Watt Counsel for Petitioner/Appellant
Liberty, Audette & Manzi, Tucson By Jennifer Manzi Counsel for Respondent/Appellee
Judge Espinosa authored the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Eppich and Judge Eckerstrom concurred.
¶1 In this domestic-relations case, Brent Walker appeals the trial court's order awarding spousal maintenance and attorney fees to Kathryn Siemsen. Walker argues the court erred by finding Siemsen eligible for spousal maintenance, determining the amount and duration of the award, and granting Siemsen's request for attorney fees. For the following reasons, we affirm.
Factual and Procedural Background
¶2 We view the facts in the light most favorable to upholding the trial court's ruling. In re Marriage of Downing, 228 Ariz. 298, ¶ 2 (App. 2011). Walker and Siemsen married in 1986 and have two adult children. Walker petitioned for dissolution of the marriage in January 2016, and Siemsen requested an award of spousal maintenance. In August 2016, the trial court issued temporary orders awarding Siemsen exclusive possession of the marital home and Walker exclusive possession of their second home. The court found Siemsen was not eligible to receive pre-decree temporary spousal maintenance, but ordered Walker to pay half of the regularly occurring community living expenses associated with the marital residence and all of the regularly occurring community expenses associated with the second home. The court also awarded Siemsen $3, 000 in pre-decree attorney fees.
¶3 In 2018, Walker and Siemsen entered into settlement agreements as to division of property and debts. After a trial on the remaining issues of spousal maintenance and attorney fees, the trial court made the following factual findings: (1) Siemsen is fifty-five years old and earns an annual salary of $66, 705 as a program specialist, while Walker earns a base salary of $150, 000 as a physician assistant but is also eligible to earn yearly bonuses; (2) Siemsen's financial affidavit listed her reasonable needs; (3) Siemsen can meet her basic needs through her employment, but she "lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to her, to provide for her reasonable needs"; and (4) Siemsen contributed to Walker's educational opportunities during the marriage. Accordingly, the court awarded Siemsen spousal maintenance of $1, 500 per month until she reaches her full retirement age of sixty-seven.
¶4 As for attorney fees, the trial court found both Walker and Siemsen "equally unreasonable during the proceeding," but awarded Siemsen $10, 000 in attorney fees based on the financial disparity between them. The court thereafter issued a final decree of dissolution, from which Walker appeals. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-120.21(A)(1) and A.R.S...
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