Aaroe and Aaroe

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 07-26-2017
  • Case #: A159444
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Dehoog, P.J. for the court; Hadlock, C.J.; & Sercombe, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A "court should increase or decrease spousal support only to the degree necessary to enable the parties to adjust to the new circumstances." Thomas and Thomas, 181 Or. App. 128, 134 (2002).

Husband cross-appealed the trial court’s judgment increasing Wife’s spousal support by $10,000 per month and awarding her indefinite maintenance support. Husband assigned error to the trial court’s determination that Wife had established a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances since entry of the original judgment. On Appeal, Husband argued that the modified support award impermissibly exceeded what was necessary—both in amount and in duration—because she would only lose $5,000 a month in income as result of the unanticipated change in circumstance. A “court should increase or decrease spousal support only to the degree necessary to enable the parties to adjust to the new circumstances.” Thomas and Thomas, 181 Or. App. 128, 134, 45 P.3d 954 (2002). The Court of Appeals held that since a court should increase or decrease spousal support only to the degree necessary to enable the parties to adjust to the new circumstances, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding maintenance support in the amount of $17,000 per month because Wife’s catastrophic mental decline was “prolonged, invasive, and damaging,” and consequently, she would deplete her independent income and be unemployable. In order for Wife to adjust to being both unemployable and losing her independent income, it was necessary for the trial court to increase her spousal support by that amount and duration. Affirmed.

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