Appeal from the District Court of Ward County, North Central Judicial District, the Honorable Richard L. Hagar, Judge.
Carrie L. Francis, for plaintiff, appellant and cross-appellee.
Robert S. Thomas, for defendant, appellee and cross-appellant.
[¶ 1] Shawn and LaRinda Weigel both appeal from a divorce judgment distributing their marital property, granting them equal residential responsibility of their two minor children, and offsetting their child support obligations and ordering LaRinda Weigel to pay Shawn Weigel $1, 280 per month for child support. Shawn Weigel challenges the district court's valuations and distribution of marital property, and LaRinda Weigel challenges the court's child support determination. We affirm the court's property valuations and distribution, and we reverse the child support determination and remand for further proceedings.
[¶ 2] Shawn and LaRinda Weigel were married in 1996 and have two minor children together. At the time of trial, he was 43 years old and she was 42. During the marriage, he worked as an account representative for The Computer Store in Minot, and she worked for LDL Clean, Inc., a janitorial cleaning business operating the ServiceMaster franchise in Minot, which she co-owns with David Burgess. She also owns two other businesses with Burgess: LDL Spotless, Inc., and LDL Properties, LLP. LDL Properties is a real estate holding company that owns and leases three four-plexes in Minot, and LDL Spotless owns a shop condo in Minot which serves as an office for the three businesses. The parties' property interests also include a marital home, a lake cabin, and two other rental properties in Minot.
[¶ 3] The parties separated in March 2012 and thereafter equally shared residential responsibility of their children. Shawn Weigel sued LaRinda Weigel for divorce in November 2012. At trial, the parties primarily contested the valuation and distribution of their marital property and the award of residential responsibility of their children. At the end of the trial, the parties discussed child support with the court:
MS. FRANCIS: And I think as a housekeeping issue, Mr. Thomas and I have discussed, we'll probably make new child support calculations, unless you're so inclined to do them?
THE COURT: No. I would definitely prefer those if you would do them. Otherwise, I usually just call [the Minot Child Support Enforcement Unit], but go ahead.
MS. FRANCIS: I would prefer that [they] do this one.
THE COURT: I know. I understand that. But if you do do them, if you can agree on them, fine, you should do one for each side.
MS. FRANCIS: Well, I think the problem that comes into play though, is there is different income-producing property, and depending on how the Court distributes that property, I don't think we could do our child support calculations until after the fact, I guess, is what I'm saying.
MR. THOMAS: Your Honor, I would agree with Ms. Francis. We were talking about maybe coming up with some proposed calculations before we got going on this, and we were both experiencing the same difficulty.
THE COURT: Because of the income-producing property?
MR. THOMAS: In the Court's decision, the Court could just indicate so and so should prepare proposed calculations.
THE COURT: Based on the distribution.
MR. THOMAS: Based on the Court's ...