CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON JANUARY 8, 2018
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE LAWRENCE E. LONG
GREGORY T. BREWERS of Strange, Farrell, Johnson &
Brewers, P.C. Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorneys for
plaintiff and appellant.
KRISTINE K. O'CONNELL ARON A. HOGDEN of Woods, Fuller,
Shultz & Smith, P.C. Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorneys
for defendant and appellee.
GILBERTSON, CHIEF JUSTICE
This appeal concerns the divorce of Daniel Osdoba from Amy
Kelley- Osdoba. At the conclusion of the divorce proceedings,
the circuit court accepted Amy's valuation of the
parties' residence at $574, 340, which differed from
Daniel's valuation of $611, 000 due to a 6% discount that
accounted for realtor fees. The circuit court also included
Amy's student loans in the marital corpus. The student
loans were incurred while Amy attended medical school before
the parties were married. Further, the circuit court ordered
Amy to make a cash-equalization payment to Daniel, but it
allowed Amy to make the payment over time with an interest
rate of 4%. Daniel was also awarded alimony upon the
condition that he annually release his medical and counseling
records to Amy. Finally, the circuit court denied
Daniel's request for attorney fees. Daniel appeals. We
affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
and Procedural History
Daniel and Amy met while Amy was attending medical school in
Iowa City, Iowa. Before that time, Daniel was working in
Minneapolis after completing his Associate's Degree in
Photographic Arts and Graphic Design. Daniel eventually moved
in with Amy but had a hard time finding work in Iowa City.
Daniel eventually found work in a restaurant. Daniel and Amy
were married on June 5, 2004, after Amy's last year of
medical school. Within a few weeks of being married, Daniel
and Amy moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where they would stay
for the next four years as Amy completed her residency
[¶3.] During Amy's residency program, Daniel worked
as a cook and a grocery-store stocker as he had a hard time
finding a job in his field of study. Amy gave birth to twin
boys during the third year of her residency program. After
the birth of the twins, Daniel became a stay-at-home dad.
In 2011, Amy accepted a job at Sanford in Sioux Falls, South
Dakota, as an ob-gyn specialist. The family moved to Sioux
Falls from Des Moines, Iowa, where Amy was previously working
after completing her residency program. While in Sioux Falls,
Amy gave birth to their third son on August 16, 2012. Daniel
continued staying at home and caring for the children at the
couple's new home in Sioux Falls.
On January 26, 2015, Amy petitioned the circuit court for a
temporary protection order after Daniel exhibited threatening
behavior. The circuit court granted the temporary protection
order. Daniel filed for divorce two days later, and Amy filed
a counterclaim seeking the same. The court ordered Daniel to
undergo a psychological evaluation, which resulted in a
recommendation for psychotherapy and a dismissal of the
temporary restraining order. However, Amy was granted a
second temporary restraining order on October 20, 2015, after
Daniel exhibited more threatening behavior. The circuit court
concluded that Daniel's mental-health issues contributed
to the failing marriage.
Subsequently, Daniel and Amy's divorce trial was held
November 8-9, 2016. At the conclusion of the trial, the
circuit court made partial rulings from the bench. The
circuit court issued a decree of divorce for Daniel and Amy
based on irreconcilable differences. The court also divided
property, awarded Daniel alimony, and set child support. On
November 28, 2016, the circuit court issued a letter decision
that supplemented its bench ruling. On December 30, 2016, the
circuit court entered its final judgment and decree of
Under its rulings relevant to this appeal, the circuit court
accepted Amy's valuation of the parties' home at
$574, 340. This valuation was determined by taking a 6%
discount for realtor fees from Daniel's proposed
valuation of $611, 000. The circuit court also included
Amy's student-loan debt into the marital corpus that she
had incurred during medical school. After division of the
property, the circuit court ordered Amy to pay a
cash-equalization payment of $45, 364 to Daniel. However, the
circuit court allowed Amy the option to make the equalization
payment over 48 months with 4% interest. The circuit court
also awarded Daniel alimony on the condition that Daniel
provide an annual release of his medical and counseling
records to Amy. Daniel will receive decreasing alimony
payments starting at $3, 000 a month and ending at $1, 000 a
month over 14 years. Finally, the circuit court denied
Daniel's request for attorney fees.
[¶8.] Daniel appeals, raising the following issues of
1. Whether the circuit court erred in its valuation of the
2. Whether the circuit court abused its discretion in
including Amy's student-loan debt in the marital estate.
3. Whether the circuit court abused its discretion in
allowing Amy the option of making the equalization payment
over time with 4% interest.
4. Whether the circuit court abused its discretion in
requiring that Daniel annually release his medical and
counseling records to Amy as a condition of receiving
5. Whether the circuit court abused its discretion in
declining to award Daniel his attorney fees.
We review a circuit court's factual findings, which
includes the valuation of property involved in a divorce
proceeding, under the clearly erroneous standard of review.
Johnson v. Johnson, 2007 S.D. 56, ¶ 16, 734
N.W.2d 801, 806; accord SDCL 15-6-52(a). "We
will overturn the [circuit] court's findings of fact on
appeal only when a complete review of the evidence leaves
[this] Court with a definite and ...