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Stekr v. Beecham

Supreme Court of Nebraska

September 25, 2015

PETER M. STEKR, APPELLANT,
v.
KELLY BEECHAM, FORMERLY KNOWN AS KELLY SHANNON STEKR, APPELLEE

Page 348

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: MARLON A. POLK, Judge.

John A. Kinney and Jill M. Mason, of Kinney Law, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Brent M. Kuhn, of Harris Kuhn Law Firm, L.L.P., for appellee.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, McCORMACK, and MILLER-LERMAN, JJ. CASSEL, J., not participating.

OPINION

Page 349

[291 Neb. 884] Connolly, J.

SUMMARY

Peter M. Stekr (Peter) filed a complaint to modify his child support obligation after his income substantially decreased. The trial court dismissed the complaint. It concluded that under the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines, Peter's payments would be substantially reduced. But it decided to deviate from the guidelines in part because Peter owned non-income-producing real estate. On appeal, Peter argues that his non-income-producing assets did not warrant a deviation from the guidelines. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

BACKGROUND

Peter and Kelly Beecham, formerly known as Kelly Shannon Stekr (Kelly), divorced in 2001. The court granted Kelly custody of the parties' minor daughter and ordered Peter to pay child support of $985.84 per month. In 2007, the court raised Peter's child support obligation to $1,801.51 per month.

In January 2010, Peter filed a complaint to modify the child support order because his income had decreased. The court referred the case to a referee, who held a hearing in August.

At the hearing, Peter testified that he had traded and sold bonds and mortgage-backed securities since 1993. He worked for a securities company for about 5 years, during which time he had the ability to earn substantial commissions. Peter's adjusted gross income was $129,057 in 2007, $331,354 in 2008, and $345,689 in 2009.

The securities company laid Peter off in February 2010. He found another job trading securities with an annual salary of $60,000 and a bonus of up to 5 percent of his salary.

Peter testified that he is the sole shareholder of Golden Asset Management, which has one asset: a " spec home" in Denver, Colorado. Peter built the house in 2007 " to sell it and make money," but this proved difficult. He listed the house [291 Neb. 885] for $950,000, then $880,000, then $825,000, and finally, as of the hearing, $799,000. Peter testified that the mortgage on the Denver house was $690,000 and that he had personally been making the monthly payments of $2,400 to $2,600 since 2007. No one has ever rented or lived in the house.

Peter personally owns two other houses. One is in Golden, Colorado, and is Peter's residence. The Golden house is not subject to any debt and was valued at $500,000 for tax purposes. ...


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