This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Katharine A. Schleif, petitioner,
Morgan P. Schleif,
Hennepin County District Court
File No. DC256876
Beverly K. Dodge, William D. Siegel, Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd., 400 Northtown Financial Plaza, 200 Coon Rapids Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN 55433 (for respondent)
Michael Perlman, Perlman Law Office, 333 Parkdale Plaza, 1660 South Highway 100, St. Louis Park, MN 55416 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Hudson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges the district court’s award of permanent spousal maintenance, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by awarding permanent maintenance instead of temporary maintenance. Appellant also challenges the district court’s valuation of appellant’s ownership interest in Wealth Enhancement Group, arguing that the court’s valuation was clearly erroneous. Respondent challenges the district court’s division of marital assets, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to include the value of appellant’s “blotted sales” in the division of marital assets. Because the district court was within its discretion in awarding permanent maintenance and refusing to include the value of appellant’s “blotted sales” in the division of marital assets, and because the district court’s valuation of appellant’s ownership interest was not clearly erroneous, we affirm.
Appellant Morgan Schleif and respondent Katharine Schleif married on June 7, 1980. Appellant is employed full time as a financial planner by Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG). Respondent is employed as a full-time real estate closer. The parties have one child who turned 18 on August 1, 2002, but due to drug dependency issues, has yet to graduate from high school. The parties separated on April 17, 2000.
On April 24, 2000, respondent filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. Trial was held on May 16 and 17, 2001. The district court filed its judgment and decree on August 29, 2001. Appellant filed a motion to amend the decree, and the district court filed its amended decree on January 16, 2002. This appeal follows.
The parties stipulated that respondent would have sole legal and physical custody of the parties’ child. The district court found that respondent’s gross annual income was approximately $64,704 per year, resulting in a net annual income of $37,532.41. The court found that appellant’s gross annual income was approximately $222,530, resulting in a net annual income of $110,033.27. The court also found that respondent and the parties’ child had reasonable monthly expenses of $6,214, and that appellant had reasonable monthly expenses of $5,000. The court ordered appellant to pay $1,570 per month in child support and $1,500 per month in permanent spousal maintenance. In dividing the marital assets of the parties, the district court awarded respondent $288,058 and appellant $287,628.88 worth of real and personal property. The district court attributed $185,000 worth of marital assets to appellant based on the court’s finding that appellant’s 2.18% ownership interest in WEG was worth $185,000.
D E C I S I O N
1. Spousal Maintenance
We review a district court’s maintenance award under an abuse-of-discretion standard. Dobrin v. Dobrin, 569 N.W.2d 199, 202 (Minn. 1997); Erlandson v. Erlandson, 318 N.W.2d 36, 38 (Minn. 1982). For this court to conclude that the district court abused its broad discretion with respect to an award of spousal maintenance, the district court’s fact-findings must be “against logic and the facts on [the] record.” Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984) (citation omitted).
Spousal maintenance is an award in a dissolution proceeding of “payments from the future income or earnings of one spouse for the support and maintenance of the other.” Minn. Stat. § 518.54, subd. 3 (2000). A court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance
(a) lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for reasonable needs of the spouse considering the standard of living established during the marriage, especially, but not limited to, a period of training or education, or
(b) is unable to provide adequate self-support, after considering the standard of living established during the marriage and all relevant circumstances, through appropriate employment, * * * .
Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 1 (2000). The amount and duration of the maintenance award, temporary or permanent, is determined by examining all relevant factors, including the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, the time necessary for the party seeking maintenance to acquire education or training, the standard of living established during marriage, the duration of the marriage, the contributions and economic sacrifices of a homemaker, the age of the spouse seeking maintenance, the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance, the resources of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought, the contribution of each party to the amount or value of the marital property, and the contribution of a spouse to the other spouse’s employment or business. Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 2 (2000). If the need for permanent maintenance is uncertain, the district court shall order permanent maintenance and leave the order open for later modification. Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 3 (2000). Each maintenance case must be determined on its own facts, and no single statutory factor for determining the type or amount of maintenance is dispositive. Erlandson, 318 N.W.2d at 39. In its determination, the district court essentially balances the recipient’s need for maintenance against the obligor’s ability to pay. Prahl v. Prahl, 627 N.W.2d 698, 702 (Minn. App. 2001).
The district court found that respondent had reasonable monthly expenses, based on the standard of living during the marriage, of about $6,214. Based on respondent’s net monthly income of about $3,128, and $1,570 of child support per month, the court found that respondent would have a monthly financial shortfall of about $1,500. On this basis, the district court awarded respondent $1,500 per month in permanent spousal maintenance.
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion in its application of the statutory factors and in its conclusion that respondent is entitled to permanent as opposed to temporary spousal maintenance. Appellant does not argue that the district court’s award of spousal maintenance was improper or that the amount awarded was excessive, only that the spousal maintenance should have been temporary instead of permanent.
There are facts in this case supporting appellant’s claim that respondent is not entitled to permanent maintenance. Respondent is 44 years old and in good physical and emotional health. She is at the top of her career as a real estate closer and makes about $65,000 per year. Respondent needs no further education or training. She has not been absent from the job market, and has not foregone earnings, retirement benefits, or employment opportunities. She has not played the role of a traditional homemaker. Additionally, respondent received a $288,058 property award as a result of the division of marital assets.
There are also facts that support an award of permanent maintenance. The parties were married for 21 years and enjoyed an affluent standard of living. The affluent standard of living enjoyed by the parties was the result of appellant’s career change in 1996, and the resulting increase in income, but while appellant was making his career change in 1996, respondent supported the family financially. Based on appellant’s monthly net income of approximately $9,169.44, appellant has the financial ability to meet his own needs, pay his $1,570 monthly child support obligation, and pay $1,500 per month in spousal maintenance. As noted, the amount is not the issue, only the duration.
The relationship between the parties in this case was not a lengthy traditional marriage as defined by Gales. See Gales v. Gales, 553 N.W.2d 416, 421 (Minn. 1996) (defining a “long-term traditional marriage” as one “in which there is an older, dependent spouse who has little likelihood of achieving self-sufficiency because of an absence from the labor market for a long period of time”). Both appellant and respondent worked outside the home for their entire marriage, both have established successful careers, and both earn enough income to be self-sufficient. Because the parties’ marriage was not traditional, some of the statutory factors suggest that an award of permanent maintenance would not be appropriate in this case. The district court relied heavily on the 21-year duration of the parties’ marriage, the affluent standard of living enjoyed by the parties during their marriage, the appellant’s ability to pay maintenance while still meeting his own needs, and the fact that respondent supported the family while appellant changed careers. While we may have reached a different result on these facts, we cannot say that the district court’s award of permanent maintenance is an abuse of discretion. See Chamberlain v. Chamberlain, 615 N.W.2d 405 (Minn. App. 2000) (holding, on very similar facts, that the district court was within its discretion in awarding permanent maintenance), review denied (Minn. Oct. 24, 2000).
The “standard of living” factor should not be held in too high regard nor as a trump card. When couples with a good amount of income overspend and live a lavish and affluent lifestyle while married, attempting to allow the obligee to continue that lifestyle after a dissolution does not comport with the reality that when couples split, common sense dictates that priorities be rearranged in favor of a lifestyle one can now afford. After a dissolution, there are now two simple and separate households to support rather than one household united. If the couple skied together in Europe while married, it may make sense for the obligee, after the dissolution, to be content for a while to take ski trips and vacations in this country. Having said that, on the totality of the facts and giving deference to the district court on weighing the statutory factors, we affirm on this issue.
2. Valuation of Wealth Enhancement Group
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion in its valuation of appellant’s ownership interest in WEG. When a marriage is dissolved, “the court shall make a just and equitable division of the marital property of the parties.” Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1 (2000). An appellate court will not reverse a district court’s valuation of an asset unless it is “clearly erroneous on the record as a whole.” Hertz v. Hertz, 304 Minn. 144, 145, 229 N.W.2d 42, 44 (1975) (citations omitted); see also March v. March, 435 N.W.2d 569, 572 (Minn. App. 1989). An appellate court does not require the district court to be exact in its valuation of assets; “it is only necessary that the value arrived at lies within a reasonable range of figures.” Johnson v. Johnson, 277 N.W.2d 208, 211 (Minn. 1979) (citing Hertz, 304 Minn. at 145, 229 N.W.2d at 44).
In Nardini v. Nardini, the Minnesota Supreme Court explained that one method of justly and equitably dividing marital property is to
determine the value of the asset, order distribution of the entire asset to one of the parties, and order the recipient to pay to the other spouse a just and equitable share of the value of the asset.
Nardini v. Nardini, 414 N.W.2d 184, 188 (Minn. 1987) (noting that this method of dividing marital assets is in essence a forced sale and has the greatest potential for error and unfairness). The supreme court recognized that placing a value on a closely held business is an inexact science. Id. at 189-90. In Nardini, the supreme court stressed that whatever starting point is used to value a closely held business, other factors must be taken into consideration. Id. at 190. Quoting Revenue Ruling 59-60, the supreme court suggested consideration of the following factors in making a reasonable valuation:
1. The nature of the business and the history of the enterprise from its inception.
2. The economic outlook in general and the condition and outlook of the specific industry in particular.
3. The book value of the stock and the financial condition of the business.
4. The earning capacity of the company.
5. The dividend-paying capacity.
6. Whether or not the enterprise has goodwill or other intangible value.
7. Sales of stock and the size of the block of stock to be valued.
8. The market price of stocks of corporations engaged in the same or a similar line of business having their stocks traded in a free and open market.
Id. (quoting Rev. Rule 59-60, 1959-1 C.B. 237).
During their marriage, the parties used marital assets and borrowed on a home equity line of credit to purchase an ownership interest in WEG. Appellant initially purchased a 1.5% interest, which increased to a 2.18% interest. Both parties hired expert witnesses to testify as to the value of the ownership interest.
Larry Plowman, C.P.A., appellant’s expert witness, specifically considered the factors set forth in Revenue Ruling 59-60, and noted that the factors in Revenue Ruling 59-60 are often categorized into three distinct approaches for valuing closely held businesses: the income approach, the market approach, and the asset-based approach. Because of WEG’s lack of profitability, Plowman determined that the income approach was not useful. Using the asset-based approach, Plowman determined the value of WEG to be $407,000, but gave this approach no weight in his analysis because he felt the market approach would be a more accurate indicator. Under the market approach, the company being valued is compared with similar companies in the industry that have publicly traded stocks. By comparing operating results and stock prices of the public companies, a value multiple is determined, and the value multiple is used to place a value on the subject closely held business. Here, Plowman selected four comparable public companies, and based on his analysis, he determined the value of WEG to be $3,075,000. Plowman also applied a 40% discount because of the lack of marketability of an ownership interest in a closely held business, and concluded that the value of WEG was $1,800,000. Accordingly, Plowman opined that appellant’s 2.18% interest in WEG was worth $39,240.
John Heidebrecht, M.B.A., respondent’s expert witness, also specifically considered the factors set forth in Revenue Ruling 59-60. He also applied versions of the income approach, market approach, and asset-based approach. Heidebrecht determined that the asset approach was not useful because WEG is a financial services business that does not require a large amount of fixed assets. Heidebrecht applied the income approach, which is premised on the idea that the value of an ownership interest in a company is equal to the present worth of future benefits of ownership. Using the income approach, Heidebrecht determined the value of WEG to be $9,460,000. Heidebrecht also applied the market approach. Under the market approach, Heidebrecht applied the Guideline Transactions Method and determined WEG to be worth $8,500,000, the Past Company Transactions Method and determined WEG to be worth $5,421,000, and the Membership Control Agreement Method and determined WEG to be worth between $5,421,000 and $18,000,000. Heidebrecht also noted that WEG applied for a term loan and revolving line of credit from Marquette Bank, and the bank determined the fair market value of WEG to be $9,896,000. Because the Member Control Agreement requires the value of a member’s ownership interest to be determined based on 100% ownership interest in the company, Heidebrecht did not apply a minority or marketability discount. Based on a combination of valuation approaches and other factors, Heidebrecht opined that WEG was worth $8,500,000, and, therefore, that appellant’s 2.18% interest in WEG was worth $185,000.
The district court agreed with Heidebrecht and held that appellant’s 2.18% ownership interest was worth $185,000. The district court found Heidebrecht’s appraisal to be thorough, comprehensive, and highly credible, and Plowman’s appraisal to be overly pessimistic and lacking in credibility. The court found that Plowman should have relied on more than one valuation approach, and found that Plowman had used improper data in his appraisal and unconventional valuation techniques. The court was also specifically persuaded by Marquette Bank’s $9,896,000 valuation of WEG as a result of WEG’s loan application.
The district court did not specifically address the factors set forth in Nardini and Revenue Ruling 59-60, and focused more on the general credibility of the expert witnesses. Nevertheless, both experts discussed and analyzed the Nardini and Revenue Ruling 59-60 factors in their appraisals. See Nielsen v. Nielsen, No. C2-95-2367, 1996 WL 438800, at *1 (Minn. App. Aug. 6, 1996) (stating that “[b]ecause Nardini does not require specific findings on all the factors, it was sufficient that the district court heard evidence on the factors before making its decision.”). Although the district court came down on the side of respondent in its valuation of appellant’s ownership interest in WEG, the court’s findings are within a reasonable range of figures. Based on the evidence in the record, the expert appraisals, and the district court’s determinations of witness credibility, we conclude that the district court’s finding that appellant’s 2.18% ownership interest in WEG was worth $185,000 is not erroneous.
3. Blotted Sales
Respondent argues that the district court abused its discretion by failing to include the value of appellant’s blotted sales in the division of the parties’ marital assets. “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, 615 N.W.2d 405, 412 (citations omitted). The district court “shall make a just and equitable division of the marital property * * * .” Minn. Stat. § 518.58, subd. 1 (2000).
Respondent contends that if appellant terminates his employment with WEG, he is entitled to receive the value of his share of his first year commission on sales blotted prior to his termination from WEG, and argues that the district court should have attributed the value of the “blotted sales” to respondent in the division of marital assets. The trial court denied respondent’s request to attribute the value of the “blotted sales” because appellant has not terminated his employment with WEG and it is impossible to determine when respondent will receive these funds.
Respondent’s expert explained “blotted sales” as the following:
Insurance products can be “blotted” (sold) but have no commission actually paid for much longer than 90 days due to the underwriting process. However, on average, it is reasonable to assume a 90-day commission lag between blotted sales and the payout of commissions.
According to respondent’s confidentiality and noncompetition agreement with WEG, in the event of his termination, he is entitled to be paid “100% of [his] share of producer’s first year commission on sales blotted prior to [his] termination.” In essence, if appellant’s employment with WEG is terminated, he is entitled to receive his share of the unpaid commissions on sales he made prior to his termination.
Appellant’s entitlement to payment for sales blotted prior to his termination is not an asset, it is income that appellant is entitled to for services previously provided. To count appellant’s entitlement to payment for sales blotted before his termination as a marital asset attributable to appellant would result in counting the blotted sales twice, once as income and once as an asset. Further, since it is not known when appellant’s employment with WEG will terminate, the value of the “blotted sales” is indeterminable. Because counting appellant’s entitlement to payment for sales blotted prior to his termination as a marital asset would result in double-counting the “blotted sales,” because the value of the “blotted sales” is indeterminable, and because it is uncertain when appellant will receive these funds, we conclude the district court was within its discretion in holding that the “blotted sales” were not attributable to appellant in the division of marital assets.
 Respondent’s reasonable monthly expenses include the expenses of the parties’ child.
 The market approach used by Plowman incorporates a discount for the fact that appellant holds a minority interest.
 More specifically, Heidebrecht used the discounted cash-flow method. This method estimates value by forecasting cash flow for a period of time, usually five or ten years. At the end of the forecast period an estimate of value is made. These amounts are then discounted back to the valuation date.
 The Guideline Transactions Method derives an indication of value from data on the prices paid for companies or portions of companies in similar industries.
 The Past Company Transactions Method examines past transactions by the subject company. Heidebrecht noted that the original Member Control Agreement stipulated that the value of WEG was $2,500,000 on November 9, 1999. WEG member Mark Beethe sold his interest to the remaining members for $176,041 on January 2, 2001 based on a stipulated value of WEG of $5,421,000. Beethe realized a 216.8% return on his investment in a little more than a year.
 WEG’s Membership Control Agreement states the following in paragraph 3.2:
For any time after the calendar year 2000, the value of member’s ownership interest shall be the greater of the last value declared by the Company at a properly called meeting of its Members, or its value as determined under the following formula for the previous fiscal year end. The current formula is two times projected annualized recurring revenue for the next twelve months plus one times the previous twelve months non-recurring revenue minus a thirty-percent discount.
Depending on the time period used in the calculation, Heidebrecht determined the value of WEG to be between $5,421,000 and $18 million. Heidebrecht noted that WEG’s board of directors valued WEG at $18 million in January 19, 2001.