Maturin v. Maturin

685 So. 2d 468, 1996 La. App. LEXIS 2947, 96-0808 (La.App. 3 Cir. 12/11/96);

 

RULE:

When the obligee spouse's position remains essentially unchanged since the award, the obligor spouse cannot dissolve the adjudicatory effects of his consent and rely solely on the obligee spouse's large amount of assets and income to support an allegation that the obligee spouse is no longer in need.

FACTS:

The Maturins were divorced and the judgement order Mr. Maturin to pay Ms. Maturin $750.00 per month in permanent alimony and the record shows the alimony award was a consent judgement. Later, Mr. Maturin filed the instant rule, seeking a decrease in or termination of his alimony obligation, alleging that he had retired from his occupation and therefore had a significant decrease in income. Although he is only making a little over $1,000 in social security and retirement benefits monthly, he received $38,000 from his employer when he retired that he claimed to have lost while gambling. The trial court confirmed the hearing officer’s recommendation and reduced the alimony obligation to $300.00 a month and Mr. Maturin appealed to get the alimony payments entirely terminated.

ISSUE:

Does a change in the ex wife’s income render the ex-husband’s alimony payments unnecessary where they were based on his judicial confession and consent to the alimony for the ex-wife.

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court affirmed the trial court’s determination. It did not find that Mr. Maturin has met his burden of showing a change in Ms. Maturin's position sufficient to allow reconsideration of her means of support.The distinguishing feature of a consent award is that the obligor spouse has judicially confessed that the position of the obligee spouse at the time of the award constituted need under the then-existing facts. When the obligee spouse's position remains essentially unchanged since the award, the obligor spouse cannot dissolve the adjudicatory effects of his consent and rely solely on the obligee spouse's large amount of assets and income to support an allegation that the obligee spouse is no longer in need.

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