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In re Marriage of Probasco

Supreme Court of Iowa
676 N.W.2d 179 (Iowa 2004)


Facts

Ralane Probasco (defendant) and Craig Probasco (plaintiff) got married while in college in 1985. They each graduated with a business degree in 1986; neither contributed financially to the other’s education. In 1989 the couple decided to pursue a Perkins restaurant franchise. Craig became focused on obtaining the franchise, while Ralane worked to support the family and also helped with the franchise. The franchise was a success, taking in annual sales of almost $4 million. In 1999 Craig filed for divorce. The trial court found that Ralane was a smart, educated businesswoman and had great opportunity and potential for business success in the future. The trial court divided the marital assets based in part on the fair market value of the Perkins franchise. Overall, the trial court awarded Ralane net assets of $801,082 and Craig net assets of $716,070. The trial court also awarded Ralane $60,000 in alimony for a period of 13 years to reimburse her for her sacrifice and contribution to Craig’s acquisition of the Perkins franchise. The trial court found that Ralane had a future expectation of value based on this contribution. Craig appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lavorato, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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