Jeanne E. Wiedel, appellee,
Mark E. Wiedel, appellant.
Divorce: Child Custody: Child Support: Property Division:
Alimony: Attorney Fees: Appeal and Error. In a marital
dissolution action, 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 custody, child support, division of property,
alimony, and attorney fees.
Divorce: Property Division: Alimony. In dividing property and
considering alimony upon a dissolution of marriage, a court
should consider four factors: (1) the circumstances of the
parties, (2) the duration of the marriage, (3) the history of
contributions to the marriage, and (4) the ability of the
supported party to engage in gainful employment without
interfering with the interests of any minor children in the
custody of each party. In addition, a court should consider
the income and earning capacity of each party and the general
equities of the situation.
Alimony. 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.
Alimony: Appeal and Error. In reviewing an alimony award, 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. The
ultimate criterion is one of reasonableness.
__:__. An appellate court is not inclined to disturb the
trial court's award of alimony unless it is patently
unfair on the record. 6. Alimony: Child Support. A
party's alimony obligation is to be set according to the
income he or she has available after his or her child support
obligations, if any, have been accounted for.
Neb. 14] 7. Alimony: Rules of the Supreme Court:
Presumptions. An alimony award which drives the obligor's
net monthly income below the basic subsistence limitation set
forth in the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines is
presumptively an abuse of discretion unless the court
specifically finds that conformity with the basic subsistence
limitation would work an unjust or inappropriate result in
Child Support. When determining whether the payment of
certain childcare expenses will reduce the obligor's net
income below the basic subsistence limitation, a court is not
to consider costs that are entirely speculative.
Alimony. Alimony is not a tool to equalize the parties'
income, but a disparity of income or potential income might
partially justify an alimony award.
. The primary purpose of alimony is to assist an ex-spouse
for a period of time necessary for that individual to secure
his or her own means of support. Above all else, the duration
of an alimony award must be reasonable.
from the District Court for Thayer County: Vicky L. Johnson,
H. Murray, P.C., L.L.O., of Germer, Murray & Johnson, for
Burkholder, of McHenry, Haszard, Roth, Hupp, Burkholder &
Blomenberg, PC, L.L.O., for appellee.
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, and Stacy, JJ., and
Moore, Chief Judge, and Arterburn, Judge, and Doyle, District
Wiedel appeals from a decree of dissolution, assigning error
to the amount and duration of the alimony award. Finding no
abuse of discretion, we affirm.
and Jeanne E. Wiedel were married in April 2000 and divorced
in March 2017. They have three children, triplets, [300 Neb.
15] born in 2004. When the parties separated in October 2014.
Mark, who farms land in Nebraska and Kansas, remained in the
marital home in Hubbell, Nebraska. Jeanne, who works at a
health clinic in nearby Hebron, Nebraska, moved to an
apartment in Hebron. Throughout their separation, the parties
voluntarily followed a shared parenting time schedule.
August 2015, Jeanne filed a complaint for dissolution of
marriage in the Thayer County District Court. Pursuant to
temporary orders, Mark and Jeanne shared temporary joint
legal and physical custody of their children, and followed a
"week-on-week-off" parenting schedule. Mark was
ordered to pay temporary child support of $768 per month and
temporary alimony of $2, 500 per month.
before trial, the parties executed a property settlement
agreement (PSA) that addressed the division of their assets
and debts. They also executed a custody agreement and
parenting plan providing for joint legal and physical custody
of the children, with a week-on-week-off parenting time
parties could not reach agreement on the issues of child
support, allocation of child tax credits, or alimony. In
January 2017, trial was held on these contested issues. Mark
and Jeanne were the only witnesses.
Trial At the outset of trial, the parties offered into
evidence the PSA and the parenting plan. Both parties
testified the parenting plan was in the best interests of the
children and asked the court to approve it. Similarly, both
parties testified the PSA was fair and reasonable, and they
asked the court to approve it and incorporate it into the
decree. Summarized, the PSA provided that each party should
be awarded all bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and retirement
accounts in his or her name. Additionally, Mark was to be
• The marital residence;
•All farmland owned by the parties in Nebraska and
[300 Neb. 16] •All rights, title, and interest in the
farming operations of Wiedel Brothers, LLC, and another
limited liability company;
• All grain, growing crops, machinery, equipment, and
property related to the farming operation; and
• Three vehicles-a 2015 GMC Sierra pickup, a 2001 Grand
Prix, and a 1988 Kawasaki motorcycle.
addition, Mark agreed to pay all debts in his name and all
debts incurred by the parties during the course of the
marriage, except Jeanne's student loan and her Discover
credit card debt.
the PSA, Jeanne ...