In re Marriage of Martin held that a form which requires parties to check a box to continue jurisdiction for spousal support is an enforceable agreement between the parties and may terminate the court’s ability to modify or end spousal support.
In this case, the parties were already divorced. A judgment was entered in 2013 using forms created by the local county. The local forms required the parties to check boxes to continue the court’s jurisdiction over spousal support in the event the support party re-married. The parties did not check the box. The ex-wife married another person and the husband filed a motion to terminate spousal support.
The trial court terminated spousal support finding that there was no express written agreement to terminate the court’s ability to end spousal support if the ex-wife remarried. Therefore, the trial judge reasoned that the order for spousal support terminated by operation of law at the time that the ex-wife married another person. The ex-wife appealed the decision.
The appellate court agreed with the wife and reversed the decision. It held that no precise words are required to terminate the court’s jurisdiction over spousal support. However, failure to check the box which allowed the court to maintain jurisdiction was sufficient to terminate the court’s ability to modify spousal support upon the marriage of the ex-wife to her new husband.
If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as spousal support or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, child spousal support and/or property division, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.
Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not address other factors which may play a significant role in a particular dissolution. Circumstances in your divorce may alter the results in your dissolution.
Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.