This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Claudia Hoffman, petitioner,
Philip John Hoffman,
Filed November 27, 2001
Watonwan County District Court
File No. F8-00-45
Steven R. Sunde, Sunde, Olson, Kircher and Zender, 108 Armstrong Boulevard South, P.O. Box 506, St. James, MN 56081 (for respondent)
LaMar Piper, Piper Law Firm, 615 Second Avenue South, P.O. Box 109, St. James, MN 56081 (for appellant)
††††††††††† Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Stoneburner, Judge, and Hanson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D†† O P I N I O N
Appellant-husband challenges the district courtís distribution of the partiesí marital assets and argues that the valuation of certain assets was without support in the record.† Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in making an equitable distribution of the partiesí marital property, we affirm.
After nearly 19 years of marriage, appellant-husband Philip John Hoffman and respondent-wife Claudia Hoffman separated.† Between the time of their separation and the dissolution of their marriage nearly one year later, the parties informally divided most of the marital property.†
Approximately two months after dissolving the partiesí marriage in a bifurcated proceeding, the district court heard arguments regarding the disposition of the remaining marital property, which consisted of 5,178 bushels of soybeans, valued at $23,974.14, and some farm-related assets.† The district court confirmed the division of property that the parties had already accomplished, awarded husband the remaining farm-related assets and ordered him to pay wife $23,974.14 as the value of the soybeans.†
Husband filed a motion for amended findings or for a new trial.† The district court denied husbandís motion and this appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
ďDistrict courts have broad discretion over the division of marital property, and we will not disturb the division on appeal absent a clear abuse of discretion.Ē† Chamberlain v. Chamberlain, 615 N.W.2d 405, 412 (Minn. App. 2000) (citation omitted), review denied (Minn. Oct. 25, 2000).† A district court's division of marital property need not be mathematically equal, but need only be just and equitable.† Ruzic v. Ruzic, 281 N.W.2d 502, 505 (Minn. 1979); see also Minn. Stat. ß 518.58, subd. 1 (2000) (directing the district court to make a just and equitable division of the partiesí property).†
Husband argues that the district court erred by ordering husband to pay wife $23,974.14, contending that the district courtís conclusion was based on a comparison of the various assets that had been informally divided between the parties and included erroneous findings on the value of some of those assets.† But even if we were to accept appellantís arguments and correct any alleged errors, the overall effect on the distribution would be minimal.
The total value of the marital estate was about $200,000.† Prior to the distribution of the soybeans, husband had received marital assets with a value somewhat in excess of the value of the assets received by wife.† The district court was not required to divide the value of the soybeans so as to achieve a precisely equal distribution.† See Ruzic, 281 N.W.2d at 505.† We conclude that the district courtís decision to require husband to pay wife the full value of the soybeans was not an abuse of discretion.† See, e.g., Crosby v. Crosby, 587 N.W.2d 292, 296-97 (Minn. App. 1998) (affirming district courtís division of property as equitable where district court identified total marital property as $117,000 and awarded one spouse approximately $20,000 of marital assets more than it awarded the other spouse); Cf. Wibbens v. Wibbens, 379 N.W.2d 225, 227 (Minn. App. 1985) (refusing to remand for de minimis error).
Because none of the corrections requested by husband would materially alter the outcome, the district court did not err in denying husbandís motion for amended findings of fact, conclusions of law and order for judgment, and for a new trial.