may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002)
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Michael Patrick Bannon, petitioner,
Cynthia Jean Bannon,
Olmsted County District Court
File No. F8002251
Lawrence D. Downing, Lawrence D. Downing and Associates, 330 Wells Fargo Center, 21 First Avenue S.W., Rochester, MN 55902 (for respondent)
George F. Restovich, Bruce K. Piotrowski, George F. Restovich & Associates, 117 East Center Street, Rochester, MN 55904 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Minge, Judge, and Mulally, Judge.*
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
The parties were married in 1985. Before the marriage, appellant Cynthia Jean Bannon earned a B.S. degree and completed a one-year medical technology internship. Respondent Michael Bannon earned an M.D. degree.
Appellant worked as a medical technologist until November 1988, just before the birth of the parties’ first child. She then remained at home to raise that child, who is now 13 years old, and two other children, ages 10 and 7.
The parties separated in June 2000, and the dissolution of their marriage commenced in that month. The parties settled all issues except that of spousal maintenance, as to which they had a contested trial.
After the trial, the district court found that both parties are 43 years old and in good health. Respondent’s net monthly income after child support is $12,900. Appellant has no independent income and, since the parties’ separation, “has made no effort to look for employment nor has she sought additional education.” The value of appellant’s share of the stipulated property division was $239,000, exclusive of the marital homestead. The amounts received by appellant exceed any amount she would have been able to earn in the job market for the past 13 years. As a result, appellant has no loss of earnings or retirement benefits. Additionally, each party will receive about $140,000 when the home is sold. Appellant’s reasonable monthly budget is $6,500 to $7,000.
The court also found that appellant’s positions as to her housing needs, her lack of mental readiness to return to work, and her monthly budget were unrealistic and unreasonable. The court awarded spousal maintenance of $4,000 a month for 36 months, and then $2,000 a month for an additional 36 months, after which spousal maintenance shall terminate.
Appellant contends that the district court abused its discretion by imputing income to her, failing to award maintenance that reflected the parties’ standard of living during their marriage, and failing to find that appellant will be self-supporting in the future and able to achieve a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage.
D E C I S I O N
The standard of review of a district court’s award of spousal maintenance requires us to determine whether the district court abused its discretion. Stich v. Stich, 435 N.W.2d 52, 53 (Minn. 1989). We will not find an abuse of discretion unless the district court has resolved the matter in a manner that is not supported by the facts in the record. Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984).
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by improperly imputing income to her. Appellant argues that the court’s conclusions regarding appellant’s age, education, prior work history, her current circumstances, and readiness to return to work were erroneous and should be reversed because they improperly suggest that income should be imputed to her. Appellant relies on Carrick to support her argument that the district court could not find the requisite bad-faith underemployment necessary to impute income. Carrick v. Carrick, 560 N.W.2d 407, 410 (Minn. App. 1997).
We find appellant’s reliance on Carrick to be misplaced. In Carrick,we held that a district court
The court found that appellant’s proposed budget was excessive, unreasonable, and beyond the standard of living established by the parties during the course of the marriage. The court reasoned that in order for appellant to continue to enjoy a similar standard of living, she would need reasonable living expenses of $6,500 to $7,000, rather than the higher amount she argued she needed.
Generally, an award of temporary maintenance contemplates that the recipient will attempt to become self-supporting. Sand v. Sand, 379 N.W.2d 119, 124 (Minn. App. 1985), review denied (Minn. Jan. 31, 1986). The court must apply all the statutory factors and determine whether there are factors present requiring an award of permanent maintenance. Gales v. Gales, 553 N.W.2d 416, 419-20 (Minn. 1996).
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion when it awarded appellant temporary rather than permanent maintenance. Appellant contends that the court speculated in its findings and that there is doubt that appellant will be able to become self-supporting. Appellant relies on Nardini for the proposition that any doubts with respect to duration of spousal maintenance are to be resolved in favor of permanency. Nardini v. Nardini, 414 N.W.2d 184, 196 (Minn. 1987).
While appellant accurate recites the relevant portion of the holding in Nardini, we find appellant’s reliance on Nardini to be misplaced. First, Nardini is readily distinguishable from this case because, unlike appellant here, the wife in Nardini was significantly older, possessed a high-school education, and lacked special employment skills of any kind. An award of permanent maintenance was appropriate in Nardini because, after applying all statutory factors, there was doubt as to the wife’s ability to provide adequate self-support. Id. at 197, 199 (remanding for trial court to award permanent maintenance in accordance with the statutory factors).
The doubt that appellant claims exists as to her future ability to become self-supporting arises from her choice not to seek employment or further education. The evidence shows that she could be employed in her field if she desires. An uncertainty created through the choice of a party is not the type of doubt contemplated by Nardini .
Given our limited scope of review, that the facts support the findings and conclusions of law, and because the factors are not present to support an award of permanent maintenance, the district court did not abuse its discretion in an award of temporary maintenance.
* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.