This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).






In re the Marriage of: 

David Eugene Segler, petitioner,





Virginia Clair Haugen-Segler,



Filed September 9, 2003

Affirmed in part and remanded

Halbrooks, Judge



Crow Wing County District Court

File No. F2011195


Thomas R. Borden, Borden, Steinbauer & Krueger, P.A., 302 South 6th Street, P.O. Box 411, Brainerd, MN 56401 (for respondent)


Richard A. Ohlsen, Richard A. Ohlsen, Ltd., 417 Laurel Street, P.O. Box 366, Brainerd, MN 56401 (for appellant)



            Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant challenges the trial court’s dissolution judgment, claiming the court erred by (1) not awarding appellant maintenance or reserving jurisdiction to award maintenance at a later date, (2) incorrectly determining the marital amount of respondent’s 401(k) account, (3) finding that various bank and investment accounts were marital property, and (4) failing to restore appellant’s former name.  Because the evidence sustains the findings made by the trial court and the findings sustain the conclusions of law, we affirm the trial court on all issues but the appellant’s request that her name be changed.  Because the trial court did not address appellant’s request, we remand this issue to the trial court for it to be addressed in accordance with the statute.


            Appellant Virginia Clair Haugen-Segler and respondent David Eugene Segler were married in August 1992.  Appellant has three children from a previous marriage.  Following a bench trial, the trial court found that respondent had a net monthly income of $1,263.75 in addition to some sporadic income from bonuses and snowmobile repair work.  Respondent’s monthly expenses were found to be approximately the same amount as his income.  The court found that appellant had a net monthly income of $1,931.97 and monthly expenses of approximately $2,800.  The trial court also noted that appellant had been terminated from employment but that she would continue to receive her regular salary through May 31, 2002, and thereafter would receive a severance package and would be eligible for unemployment benefits of up to $452 per week.

            Throughout the parties’ marriage, respondent was employed by LeMans Corporation.  Respondent started a 401(k) savings plan through LeMans in 1989 – roughly two years prior to the parties’ marriage.  The value of respondent’s 401(k) account at the time of the marriage was $12,420.45.  The value of respondent’s 401(k) account as of July 10, 2001, was found by the court to be $79,403.44.

            The trial court concluded that respondent would receive the marital home and that appellant was entitled to a marital lien of $109,092.84 to be paid within 90 days of the entry of judgment.  The trial court concluded that neither party would be awarded maintenance and divested itself of jurisdiction over the issue of maintenance.  Additionally, the court found that three bank accounts in appellant’s or her children’s names and two investment accounts were marital assets because the evidence was insufficient to allow the court to trace the source of the respective funds.


            Appellant did not move for a new trial or amended findings.  Therefore, on appeal, we review whether the evidence in this matter sustains the findings of fact and whether the findings sustain the conclusions of law and the judgment in this matter.  Stall v. First Nat’l Bank of Buhl, 375 N.W.2d 841, 844-45 (Minn. App. 1985).  Appellant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by denying her request for spousal maintenance and by divesting itself of jurisdiction over the issue.  A trial court has broad discretion in determining spousal maintenance, and this court will not overturn the trial court’s decision absent an abuse of discretion.  Erlandson v. Erlandson, 318 N.W.2d 36, 38 (Minn. 1982).  A trial court abuses its discretion by resolving the matter in a manner that is “against logic and the facts on record.”  Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984).  A spousal-maintenance award is appropriate only when one spouse demonstrates that he or she lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs or is otherwise unable to reasonably provide adequate self-support.  Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 1 (2002).  Marital-property apportionment is taken into account when determining whether a maintenance award is appropriate.  See Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 1(a) (maintenance is awarded when one spouse lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to provide for reasonable needs).  Here, the trial court did not find that appellant lacked sufficient property to provide for her reasonable needs or self-support.  Although the trial court found that appellant’s monthly expenses were approximately $900 in excess of her net monthly income, the record clearly demonstrates that appellant received marital assets totaling $197,670.50.  Based on our limited scope of review, we conclude that there is adequate evidence to support the trial court’s findings and conclusion that appellant is not entitled to an award of maintenance.

            Appellant next contends that the trial court erred by divesting itself of jurisdiction over the issue of maintenance.  The trial court’s decision regarding reservation of jurisdiction to award maintenance is reviewed for an abuse of discretion.  See Prahl v. Prahl, 627 N.W.2d 698, 702 (Minn. App. 2001) (applying the abuse-of-discretion standard).  Reservation of spousal maintenance allows the court to later assess and address future changes in one party’s situation, without prematurely burdening the other party.  See Van de Loo v. Van de Loo, 346 N.W.2d 173, 178 (Minn. App. 1984) (concluding that reservation was appropriate because of the uncertainty of respondent’s health).  Typically, maintenance is reserved in situations where one spouse is self-sufficient at the time of trial but future self-sufficiency is uncertain due to existing or possible reoccurrence of past health problems.  See Tomscak v. Tomscak, 352 N.W.2d 464, 466 (Minn. App. 1984) (reversing district court’s decision not to reserve maintenance where party seeking maintenance may have recurrence of cancer that would drastically change her financial situation and make maintenance necessary), superceded by statute on other grounds as stated in Clark v. Clark, 642 N.W.2d 459 (Minn. App. 2002); Van de Loo, 346 N.W.2d at 178 (affirming district court’s decision to reserve maintenance issue because it would protect parties’ interests, including party whose future health may deteriorate significantly).

Here, there is no assertion or evidence that appellant’s future ability to provide for her reasonable needs is uncertain or questionable.  The trial court’s findings concerning appellant’s future earning capacity and ability to provide for her reasonable needs support its conclusion that reservation of jurisdiction over the maintenance issue was not appropriate in this case and those findings are supported by the record.  Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by divesting itself of jurisdiction over the issue of maintenance.

Appellant argues that it was error for the trial court to value respondent’s 401(k) account at $79,403.44, its value on July 10, 2001, rather than at $89,129.22, the value of the account on December 11, 2000.  Asset valuations are findings of fact and will be affirmed if they fall within the limits of credible estimates made by competent witnesses, “even if [the valuation] does not coincide exactly with the estimate of any one [witness]” or exhibit.  Hertz v. Hertz, 304 Minn. 144, 145, 229 N.W.2d 42, 44 (1975).  Findings of fact will not be set aside unless clearly erroneous.  Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.  This court does not require the trial court to be exact in its valuation of assets.  “[I]t is only necessary that the value arrived at lies within a reasonable range of figures.”  Hertz, 304 Minn. at 145, 229 N.W.2d at 44.  Nonetheless, exercise of the trial court’s discretion “is not unlimited and should be supported by either clear documentary or testimonial evidence or by comprehensive findings issued by the court.”  Ronnkvist v. Ronnkvist, 331 N.W.2d 764, 766 (Minn. 1983).

            To successfully demonstrate that findings are clearly erroneous,

the party challenging the findings must show that despite viewing [the] evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court’s findings (and accounting for an appellate court’s deference to a trial court’s credibility determinations and its inability to resolve conflicts in the evidence), the record still requires the definite and firm conviction that a mistake was made.  Only if these conditions are met, that is, only if the findings are “clearly erroneous,” does it become relevant that the record might support findings other than those that the trial court made.


Vangsness v. Vangsness, 607 N.W.2d 468, 474 (Minn. App. 2000).

            The nonmarital value of respondent’s 401(k) account at the time of the marriage was $12,420.45.  Respondent testified that the estimated value of respondent’s 401(k) account was $89,000 on December 15, 2000 – the time of the parties’ separation.[1]  This value had fallen to $79,403.44, by July 10, 2001.  There is evidence in the record confirming that both amounts are accurate for the respective dates.  The trial court recognized these differing amounts in its findings of fact and chose to rely on the most recent valuation of the account.  The court stated that it did not have sufficient information before it to compute the exact amount of the account’s growth during the marriage.  Based on the evidence available, the court set the marital amount at $60,000.  The trial court’s findings on this issue are supported by evidence in the record and the court’s findings support its conclusion as to the marital value of respondent’s 401(k) account.

            Appellant also contends that the trial court erred by identifying three bank accounts and two investment accounts as marital property.  Appellant argues that the accounts are nonmarital because the savings accounts contain child-support payments from the father of appellant’s children and that the two investment accounts were funded by appellant with money from the sale of her nonmarital home.  This court typically does not defer to the trial court’s conclusion as to the marital or nonmarital nature of property.  Burns v. Burns, 466 N.W.2d 421, 423 (Minn. App. 1991).  Whether property is marital or nonmarital is a question of law, which this court may review de novo, but facts underlying a finding that property is marital or nonmarital will be set aside only if clearly erroneous.  Swick v. Swick, 467 N.W.2d 328, 330 (Minn. App. 1991), review denied (Minn. May 16, 1991). 

As with the other issues, because appellant failed to move for a new trial or amended findings, our review is limited to determining whether the trial court’s findings are supported by the record and whether the legal conclusions are supported by its findings.  Stall, 375 N.W.2d at 844-45.  “All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and before the valuation date is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in a form of coownership.”  Minn. Stat. § 518.54, subd. 5 (2002).  To overcome the presumption that property is marital, a party must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is nonmarital.  Wopata v. Wopata, 498 N.W.2d 478, 484 (Minn. App. 1993); see also Minn. Stat. § 518.54, subd. 5.

Here, the trial court found that the funds in the accounts could not be properly traced.  The trial court also noted that, if appellant was putting money from child-support payments into savings accounts for the children, presumably a portion of respondent’s income was then being used to provide support for her children.  There is no evidence in the record that the savings accounts were funded by child-support payments from the father of appellant’s children.  Accordingly, appellant has not overcome the presumption that these accounts are marital property.

Likewise, with respect to the investment accounts, the court stated that the “evidence presented does not allow for the court to trace the source of the funds that went into these accounts and they are deemed to be marital assets.”  Although appellant asserts that evidence of the source of the funds for these accounts is obvious in the record, we disagree.  The exhibits to which appellant points merely show the purchase amount of appellant’s nonmarital home and balances of accounts, not the source of the funds.

Appellant argues that respondent did not contradict her assertions as to how these accounts were funded.  But the trial court, as the trier of fact, did not credit appellant’s assertions.  Cf. Sefkow v. Sefkow, 427 N.W.2d 203, 210 (Minn. 1988) (stating appellate courts defer to district court’s credibility determinations).  The evidence presented, whether contradicted or not, must still be weighed by the fact-finder.  The evidence presented at trial sustains the trial court’s findings and the findings support the court’s conclusions and judgment.

Finally, appellant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to address her request to change her name.  “This court reviews name changes under an abuse of discretion standard.”  In re Welfare of C.M.G., 516 N.W.2d 555, 561 (Minn. App. 1994) (citation omitted).  A request for a name change in the context of a dissolution is governed by Minn. Stat. § 518.27 (2002), which states: 

[I]n the final decree of dissolution . . . the court shall, if requested by a party, change the name of that party to another name as the party requests.  The court shall grant a request unless it finds that there is an intent to defraud or mislead[.]  . . .   The party’s new name shall be so designated in the final decree.


Appellant requested in her answer and counterpetition that her original name be restored.  The court did not address this issue in the dissolution decree.  Because the court did not grant the name change or make the requisite statutory finding that appellant intended to defraud or mislead, we remand this issue for the trial court to address it in accordance with the statute.

            Affirmed in part and remanded.



[1] The trial court set the date of valuation of assets at December 15, 2000.