may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Avis Elaine Byklum, petitioner,
Rodney Doyle Byklum,
Filed February 4, 1997
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Beltrami County District Court
File No. F0-95-1084
Thomas L. D'Albani, Cann, Haskell, D'Albani, Schueppert, Hazelton & Rodgers, P.A., 205 7th Street NW, P.O. Box 978, Bemidji, MN 56601 (for respondent)
Kevin T. Duffy, Duffy Law Office, P.O. Box 175, Thief River Falls, MN 56701 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Davies, Judge
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Rodney Doyle Byklum appeals from a judgment and decree of dissolution and challenges an award of $550 per month in permanent spousal maintenance on the ground there was insufficient evidence to support the trial court's findings. Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
The trial court has broad discretion to determine the duration and amount of spousal maintenance. Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984). This court will not reverse a trial court's determination absent an abuse of that discretion. Erlandson v. Erlandson, 318 N.W.2d 36, 38 (Minn. 1982). Findings of fact supporting an award of spousal maintenance must be upheld unless they are clearly erroneous. Gessner v. Gessner, 487 N.W.2d 921, 923 (Minn. App. 1992).
The standards for awarding spousal maintenance are set forth in Minn. Stat. § 518.552 (1996). The essential consideration in awarding maintenance is the financial need of the payee spouse balanced against the financial condition of the payor spouse. Erlandson, 318 N.W.2d at 39-40; Maeder v. Maeder, 480 N.W.2d 677, 679 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. Mar. 19, 1992).
Appellant contends the trial court erred because there is insufficient evidence in the record to support its finding that respondent earns no more than $200 per month. Appellant claims respondent earns more and, therefore, needs less than $550 per month maintenance. We conclude the trial court did not err in determining, based on respondent's employment history, that she cannot meet her own needs with less than $550 per month in assistance. The record supports the trial court's conclusion in light of respondent's medical problems, including (1) having a breast removed due to breast cancer, (2) having her ovaries removed, (3) suffering a minor heart attack, and (4) undergoing carpal tunnel surgery.
Further support in the record for concluding that respondent needs $550 per month in maintenance includes (1) respondent has no money in the bank, (2) respondent has limited assets valued at approximately $20,000 (car valued at $2400, trailer valued at $17,100 and household assets worth less than $500), (3) respondent has no health insurance, (4) because of injuries sustained as an employee, respondent has been unable to work outside her home since 1992, (5) respondent no longer receives worker's compensation, (6) respondent has been earning $300 per month, (7) respondent may be unemployed by the fall of 1996, and (8) respondent has monthly living expenses of $727. Appellant, despite his refusal to respond to discovery requests and his failure to appear at the dissolution hearing, contends the trial court erred in finding he has sufficient income to meet his own needs while providing assistance to respondent. Appellant claims respondent failed to meet her burden of providing current, reliable, and accurate financial information concerning his income and expenses. We disagree. See Tuthill v. Tuthill, 399 N.W.2d 230, 232 (Minn. App. 1987) (holding a general finding that appellant's life-style had not changed was sufficient to support the trial court's conclusions where appellant failed to present a complete picture of his assets and debts thereby making a detailed analysis of his financial condition impossible). The trial court need only consider "the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance." Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 2(g) (1996). The court need not make specific findings to show the spouse from whom maintenance is sought can meet their own needs. See Justis v. Justis, 384 N.W.2d 885, 891 (Minn. App. 1986) ("Findings are not required on each factor considered."), review denied (Minn. May 29, 1986).
Findings showing consideration of appellant's income and ability to meet his needs include (1) appellant has been fully employed for the last 29 years in various construction positions, (2) appellant is currently employed with Holthusen Construction, Inc., (3) appellant had a gross income of $25,340 in 1994, and (4) appellant has sufficient income to provide maintenance to respondent. We conclude the trial court made adequate findings supported by the record to demonstrate consideration of appellant's ability to meet his needs while paying maintenance.