Elizabeth (Newman) Lewis v. David Newman - 2/24/17

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Friday  February 24, 2017 
12:00 PM  EST

12 p.m. Culver, Indiana. When the marriage of David Newman and Elizabeth Newman (now Lewis) was dissolved in 2008, the trial court incorporated the parties’ property settlement agreement which provided, in relevant part, that David would pay spousal maintenance in a fixed amount each month to Elizabeth until Elizabeth either remarries or becomes eligible to receive payments from David’s retirement account, whichever occurs first.  The agreement also provided that in addition to the $1,000.00 per month spousal maintenance payment, Elizabeth was entitled to 25% of the net profits of David’s book royalties.  In 2016, David filed a motion to terminate his spousal maintenance obligation, alleging Elizabeth had remarried.  Elizabeth agreed the $1,000 monthly payment should be terminated, but disagreed the book royalty payments constituted spousal maintenance that should also be terminated.  The trial court first issued an order terminating David’s $1,000 monthly obligation but ordering the book royalty payments to continue.  David filed a motion to correct error following which the trial court issued a corrected order also terminating the book royalty payments.  Elizabeth now appeals, arguing the trial court improperly modified the parties’ property settlement agreement when it determined the book royalties were to be considered spousal maintenance rather than a distinct category of property.

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