This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C3-02-1751

 

In Re the Marriage of: Bonnie Kay Boyd,

petitioner,

Appellant,

 

vs.

 

Michael James Boyd,

Respondent.

 

Filed October 15, 2003

Affirmed; motion denied

Anderson, Judge

 

Aitkin County District Court

File No. F800125

 

Bonnie Kay Boyd, 27533 420th Avenue, Aitkin, MN† 56431 (pro se appellant)

 

Michael C. Bender, 15 East Main Street, P.O. Box 156, Crosby, MN† 56441 (respondent)

 

Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Wright, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D† O P I N I O N

 

††††††††††† G. BARRY ANDERSON, Judge

 

On appeal from a dissolution judgment after which she made no motion for a new trial, appellant Bonnie Boyd argues that she received an inequitably small amount of marital property, that her maintenance award was inadequate, and that respondent Michael Boyd should have been ordered to pay all of her attorney fees.† Because appellant has not shown that the record fails to support the district courtís findings of fact or that the findings of fact do not support the conclusions of law and the judgment, we affirm.

FACTS

††††††††††† Appellant petitioned to dissolve the partiesí marriage.† At the trial, the parties produced contradictory evidence on contested issues including the value of respondentís business, the division of marital property, and appellantís request for spousal maintenance.† Regarding the value of respondentís business, the district court evaluated competing expert testimony and valued the business at $38,700, including $10,000 for goodwill and other intangibles.† The district court ordered sale of the family home, use of part of the sale proceeds to pay off the loan on a vehicle, and the division of the remaining proceeds.† An amended judgment valued respondentís business at $27,800 ($37,800 gross value less $10,000 for goodwill and other intangibles), awarded appellant $450 in permanent monthly maintenance despite her request monthly maintenance of $2,800, and awarded appellant additional amounts of $6,000 and $18,418.93 for attorney fees and her interest in the business.†

††††††††††† Appellant did not seek a new trial and is pro se on appeal.

D E C I S I O N

 

††††††††††† Absent a motion for a new trial, our scope of review is generally limited to whether the evidence supports the district courtís findings of fact and whether the findings of fact support the conclusions of law and the judgment.† Erickson v. Erickson, 434 N.W.2d 284, 286 (Minn. App. 1989); see Alpha Real Estate Co. of Rochester v. Delta Dental Plan of Minn., 664 N.W.2d 303, 308-11 (Minn. 2003) (addressing scope of review).† For this reason we will not address appellantís arguments regarding the district courtís discretionary decisions involving the division of the marital estate, including retirement assets.†

I

††††††††††† Appellant alleges that the district court undervalued respondentís business because respondent misstated the value of his business through a series of adjustments to, and capital readjustments in, the businessís books.† A business valuation is a finding of fact that will not be set aside on appeal unless it is clearly erroneous.† Burwell v. Burwell, 438 N.W.2d 433, 435 (Minn. App. 1989); Bury v. Bury, 416 N.W.2d 133, 137 (Minn. App. 1987).† There is no ďuniversal formulaĒ for valuing a closely held business.† Nardini v. Nardini, 414 N.W.2d 184, 189 (Minn. 1987).† And a district court is not required to precisely value a marital asset as long as the valuation ďlies within a reasonable rangeĒ of figures.† Bury, 416 N.W.2d at 136 (quotation omitted).†

††††††††††† The partiesí experts submitted disparate values for the business.† The district courtís valuation of the business is within the range of values proposed by the partiesí experts and the reduction of the businessís value for the intangibles is consistent with case law.† See Sweere v. Gilbert-Sweere, 534 N.W.2d 294, 297 (Minn. App. 1995) (holding a district court has discretion to consider intangible assets such as goodwill when calculating value of marital property).† Appellant has not shown that the district court clearly erred in valuing respondentís business and we affirm that valuation.[1]

††††††††††† Appellant also challenges to the district courtís valuations of various other items of the partiesí property, as well as their debts.† The district court received exhibits, expert testimony, and the partiesí evidence concerning the property and debt accumulated during the marriage.† Having reviewed the record and being aware of the nature of appellantís challenges to the valuations, we conclude that, on this record, appellant has not shown those valuations to be clearly erroneous.† See Vangsness v. Vangsness, 607 N.W.2d 468, 474 (Minn. App. 2000) (holding the ďfunction of appellate court Ďdoes not require us to discuss and review in detail the evidence for the purpose of demonstrating that it supports the trial courtís findings,í and our Ďduty is performed when we consider all the evidence, as we have done here, and determine that it reasonably supports the findings.íĒ) (quoting Wilson v. Moline, 234 Minn. 174, 182, 47 N.W.2d 865, 870 (1951)).††

II

††††††††††† Appellant alleges her maintenance award is inadequate because the district court understated respondentís ability to pay maintenance.† She also argues that the district court understated her monthly expenses by not adequately considering her healthcare and educational expenses and otherwise underestimating the partiesí marital standard of living.† Maintenance-related findings of fact are not set aside unless clearly erroneous.† McCulloch v. McCulloch, 435 N.W.2d 564, 566 (Minn. App. 1989).

††††††††††† Here, appellant has not shown that the district court clearly erred by understating respondentís ability to pay maintenance.† Respondent provided the district court with his tax returns, and the district court received expert testimony concerning the profitability of respondentís business.† Respondentís tax returns show that his income dropped from nearly $43,000 in 1998 to just over $25,000 in 1999 and that his average income is now between $25,000 and $30,000.† In making this finding, the district court considered prior findings that respondentís monthly income and expenses were $3,000 and $3,098.43, respectively.†

††††††††††† Similarly, appellant has failed to show that the district court clearly erred by understating her reasonable monthly expenses.† Contrary to appellantís argument that the district court disregarded her educational needs and inability to provide for herself, the district court explicitly addressed these issues in awarding permanent maintenance.† Additionally, the district court addressed the partiesí previous lifestyles and concluded that, in light of respondentís drop in income, that lifestyle could not be sustained.† Moreover, we cannot say that appellantís request for $2,800 in monthly maintenance shows the finding of her expenses to be clearly erroneous.† In light of inconsistencies in appellantís claimed monthly expenses and her failure to itemize or otherwise substantiate expenditures of marital assets, it was well within the district courtís discretion to reject appellantís assertion that she needed $2,800 in monthly maintenance.†

††††††††††† On this record, appellant has shown neither that the finding of respondentís ability to pay maintenance nor the finding that appellantís need for maintenance is clearly erroneous.† Therefore, we affirm those determinations.†

III

††††††††††† Appellant challenges the district courtís award to her of $6,000 in attorney fees, alleging that the district court should have ordered respondent to pay all of her legal expenses.† But appellant offers no legal support for this argument and arguments not supported by legal authority are waived.† Ganguli v. University of Minnesota, 512 N.W.2d 918, 919 n.1 (Minn. App. 1994).† Moreover, on this record, respondent has only a limited ability to pay attorney fees.† See Minn. Stat. ß 518.14, subd. 1(2) (2002) (requiring awards of need-based attorney fees to consider payorís ability to pay).† We affirm the district courtís award to appellant of $6,000 in attorney fees.

††††††††††† Finally, both parties made motions to strike material from briefs submitted to this court.† Appellantís motion was denied by order of this court dated July 15, 2003.† In light of the disposition of this appeal, we also deny respondentís motion to strike.

††††††††††† Affirmed; motion denied.



[1] The district court, in its findings of fact, concluded, citing Exhibit 23, that appellant, ďwith certain adjustments, believes that the fair market value (of the business) is approximately $38,700 as of January 1, 2000.Ē† Nothing in Exhibit 23 clearly lays out a valuation of the business at $38,700 nor do the materials submitted by the parties to this court point to any testimony or exhibits which directly support the valuation arrived at by the district court.† Appellantís expert, in Exhibit 23, sets out a conclusion as to valuation of the business at $61,000 and during direct examination testified to certain adjustments that would reduce the value of the business to $48,000.† Based on additional information acquired after completing the valuation in Exhibit 23, appellantís expert testified to certain additional adjustments that boosted that valuation.† In posttrial submissions, appellantís counsel argued for a fair market value of the business of $77,160.† Respondentís expert, on the other hand, testified that the business had a negative value.† It is impossible to determine with any certainty the precise basis for the valuation calculation adopted by the district court.† But given the limited scope of review and the record presented here, we cannot hold that appellant has shown the valuation of the business to be clearly erroneous.† This is especially the case in light of the fact that a district court is not required to precisely value a marital asset as long as the valuation lies within a ďreasonable rangeĒ of figures, Bury, 416 N.W.2d at 136 (quotation omitted), and that, even if weight were given to appellantís valuation assertions, the district courtís valuation of the business would still be within the range of values submitted by the experts.† Thus, we cannot say the district court was clearly erroneous in valuing the business.