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In re Marriage of Sheil

Court of Appeals of Oregon

June 7, 2017

In the Matter of the Marriage of Jessica Ann SHEIL, Petitioner-Appellant, and Peter Murray SHEIL, Respondent-Respondent.

          Argued and Submitted April 19, 2016

         Jackson County Circuit Court 060079D2, Benjamin M. Bloom, Judge.

          Russell Lipetzky argued the cause and fled the briefs for appellant.

          George W. Kelly argued the cause and fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Sercombe, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and DeHoog, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Wife appeals from a supplemental judgment modifying the parties' stipulated judgment of dissolution to terminate spousal support. Wife contends that the trial court erred in failing to enforce a provision in the parties' stipulated judgment stating that the spousal support obligation is nonmodifiable. Husband responds that the trial court correctly concluded that the provision is not enforceable because it deprives the trial court of its authority to modify spousal support awards.

         Held: The Court of Appeals declined to interpret the parties' agreement as expressing an intention to deprive the trial court of its authority to modify spousal support awards. Rather, the court concluded, the parties expressed an intention not to seek modification of spousal support. Under ORS 107.104, the court was required to enforce the provision and therefore erred in terminating husband's spousal support obligation.

         Reversed.

         [286 Or.App. 35] SERCOMBE, P. J.

         Wife appeals from a supplemental judgment of the trial court modifying the parties' stipulated judgment of dissolution to terminate spousal support. We conclude that the trial court erred in terminating support in light of the parties' agreement in the stipulated dissolution judgment that the spousal support award was nonmodifiable. We accordingly reverse the supplemental judgment.

         The parties' 18-year marriage was dissolved pursuant to a stipulated judgment in 2005. At the time of dissolution, husband was working for the United States Postal Service earning $57, 802 per year. Wife was employed as a receptionist, earning $15, 844 per year. The dissolution judgment included an award to wife of $1, 500 monthly maintenance spousal support. The judgment stated:

"[Wife] is entitled to maintenance spousal support in the amount of $1, 500 per month from [husband] until [wife] remarries or dies. This award of spousal support is non-modifiable in consideration for other provisions in the General Judgment which are stipulated to by the parties."

         The judgment separately stated, "Payment [of spousal support] shall not terminate or be modified until ...


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