Sunday, December 8, 2013

In re Marriage of Kimura case brief

In re Marriage of Kimura case brief summary
471 N.W.2d 869 (1991)

Appellant wife sought review from a ruling of the Iowa District Court for Johnson County that dissolved her marriage to appellee husband.

The wife, as a resident of Japan, challenged the district court's jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage; the husband's compliance with the residency requirements for a dissolution found inIowa Code § 598.6; and the fact that Japan was the more convenient forum.


  • On appeal, the court held that the courts had the power to grant dissolution of marriage decrees provided the petitioner was domiciled in the state. 
  • Such power existed although the wife was absent from the state and was constructively rather than personally served. 
  • Further, the husband proved that he met the residency requirements of § 598.6 by swearing that he had no other permanent residence other than his residence in the county and had obtained an Iowa driver's license and had accounts at local banks. 
  • It was legal residence, not citizenship, that was a statutory condition for bringing a dissolution of marriage proceeding. 
  • Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to decline jurisdiction because the relative inconveniences were not so unbalanced and Iowa too had an interest in the marital status of its residents.
The court affirmed the district court's ruling challenging jurisdiction and the judgment dissolving the marriage.

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