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Becker v. Becker

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

June 25, 2013

Katrina Yvette Becker, appellant,
v.
Kurt Daniel Becker, appellee

1. Divorce: Alimony: Appeal and Error. In an action for dissolution of marriage, an appellate court reviews de novo on the record the trial court's determination of alimony; a determination regarding alimony, however, is initially entrusted to the trial court's discretion and will normally be affirmed in the absence of an abuse of that discretion.

2. Judges: Words and Phrases. A judicial abuse of discretion requires that the reasons or rulings of a trial judge be clearly untenable, unfairly depriving a litigant of a substantial right and a just result.

3. Alimony. In addition to the criteria listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-365 (Reissue 2008), in considering alimony upon a dissolution of marriage, a trial court is to consider the income and earning capacity of each party, as well as the general equities of each situation.

4. ___. In determining whether alimony should be awarded, in what amount, and over what period of time, the ultimate criterion is one of reasonableness.

5. ___. The purpose of alimony is to provide for the continued maintenance or support of one party by the other when the relative economic circumstances make it appropriate.

6. ___. Disparity in income or potential income may partially justify an award of alimony.

7. Alimony: Appeal and Error. In reviewing a trial court's award of alimony, an appellate court does not determine whether it would have awarded the same amount of alimony as did the trial court, but whether the trial court's award is untenable such as to deprive a party of a substantial right or just result.

8. Alimony. While need is certainly a factor in analyzing alimony, it is only one of several factors within a court's analysis.

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Peter C Bataillon, Judge.

Michael B. Lustgarten and Britt Carlson, Senior Certified Law Student, of Lustgarten & Roberts, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Jamie E. Kinkaid, of Cordell & Cordell, P.C., for appellee.

Inbody, Chief Judge, and Irwin and Moore, Judges.

Irwin, Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This case confronts the reality that increasingly unstable and fluid job markets may cause internal family roles to evolve and [20 Neb.App. 923] change throughout the years. This case illustrates the legally articulated notion that alimony is gender neutral.

Katrina Yvette Becker appeals from a decree of dissolution entered by the district court, which decree dissolved her marriage to Kurt Daniel Becker; awarded alimony, child support, and attorney fees to Kurt; and divided the marital assets and debts. On appeal, Katrina asserts that the district court erred in awarding Kurt any alimony, given both parties' present and past financial circumstances. Upon our de novo review of the record, we find no abuse of ...


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