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Court properly declined to modify spousal maintenance agreement

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An ex-wife must pay her husband $4,000 a month in spousal maintenance under an agreement she signed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, affirming a trial court’s decision to deny the woman’s request to modify the maintenance.

Barbara and Michael Pohl divorced in March 2009; two months later, Barbara Pohl signed an addendum to their custody, support and property settlement agreement agreeing to pay spousal support to Michael Pohl. Her ex-husband injured his back and received Social Security income payments for his disability. Michael Pohl would receive $4,000 a month from his ex-wife beginning in June 2013.

In October 2012, Barbara Pohl asked the trial court to modify her spousal maintenance obligation to $1,000 a month, pointing to her ex-husband’s increased SSI and that his fiancée pays the couple’s rent. Since signing the agreement, Barbara Pohl’s salary has increased nearly $60,000.

Those payments were stayed pending the outcome of this appeal, Barbara J. Pohl v. Michael G. Pohl, 32A04-1304-DR-163.

“Here, spousal maintenance was agreed to by the parties in an addendum, and, because the trial court found that Michael’s disability ‘materially affected’ his ability to support himself, a trial court would also have had the authority to award Michael spousal incapacity maintenance under Indiana Code section 31-15-7-2(1). Therefore, the trial court had the authority to modify the agreement under a standard that required her to show fraud, duress, or mistake or a substantial and continuing change in circumstances,” Judge John Baker wrote.

But she failed to show the agreement should have been modified under either option. The trial court’s determination that there was a “basis in evidence to support the maintenance” is supported by the evidence, the judges held.
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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