This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re the Marriage of: Linda Lou Olson,
Neil Henry Olson,
Filed September 10, 2002
Becker County District Court
File No. F1981052
James W. Shoemaker, Shoemaker & Ziegler, P.O. Box 1026, 1009 Lake Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 (for respondent)
John R. Hill, Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren, Ltd., 1500 Wells Fargo Plaza, 7900 Xerxes Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55431 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge and Kalitowski, Judge.
G. BARRY ANDERSON, Judge
On appeal from judgment in a marital-dissolution action, appellant-husband challenges the district court’s orders distributing marital property and requiring him to pay respondent-wife’s post-dissolution costs. We affirm.
The marriage of appellant Neil Henry Olson (husband) and respondent Linda Lou Olson (wife) was dissolved by judgment entered on May 25, 2000. The dissolution decree included a list of marital assets, including diamonds and household goods, to be awarded to wife.
Following a hearing on wife’s motion requesting that husband be held in constructive contempt for failing to transfer some of the property, the district court awarded wife all of the disputed items as well as post-dissolution costs, including attorney fees. This appeal followed.
“District 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.” Chamberlain v. Chamberlain, 615 N.W.2d 405, 412 (Minn. App. 2000), 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. See Ruzic v. Ruzic, 281 N.W.2d 502, 505 (Minn. 1979); see also Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1 (2000) (directing the district court to make a just and equitable division of the parties’ property).
Husband argues that the district court erred by ordering him to transfer to wife (1) a television; (2) a vacuum cleaner; (3) drapes and bookshelves; (4) a patio umbrella; (5) family photographs; and (6) either approximately 20 unset diamonds or the value of the diamonds, approximately $6,000. Husband argues variously that these items never existed (or no longer exist) as described in the order, that he has already transferred the items to wife, or that transfer of the items would be so physically impractical as to be impossible.
The district court credited wife’s testimony as to the whereabouts, existence, condition, status, and portability of the disputed items and made findings accordingly. We defer to the district court’s findings based on credibility determinations. Vangsness v. Vangsness, 607 N.W.2d 468, 472 (Minn. App. 2000). Moreover, the property disputed by husband is at best picayune in the context of the entire property division, the general equity of which husband does not challenge.
Husband also challenges the district court’s award of post-dissolution costs, including attorney fees, to respondent. Under Minn. Stat. § 518.14, subd. 1 (2000), in a dissolution proceeding the district court has discretion to award attorney fees “against a party who unreasonably contributes to the length or expense of the proceeding.” Id.
Husband incorrectly argues that wife did not submit any evidence concerning post-dissolution attorney fees prior to the June 2001 evidentiary hearing. In fact, wife submitted an affidavit to the district court that included a detailed billing statement from her attorney.
Here, the district court noted that husband
time and time again has either ignored the court’s order or tried to circumvent the court’s decision. He has done so either by ignoring the orders completely or by giving [wife] something other than what the court has ordered him to transfer to her resulting in motion hearings and expenses for [wife.]
The district court awarded wife approximately $3,000 in attorney fees. Husband had known that he was obligated to transfer the disputed property to wife since the May 2000 judgment and decree, which listed all of the items. The district court was exceedingly patient with husband, declining repeatedly to find him in contempt despite his persistent refusal to comply with the district court’s orders.
The district court did not abuse its discretion by ordering husband to transfer the disputed property pursuant to the judgment and decree or by awarding wife post-dissolution costs, including attorney fees.