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In re Marriage of Aaroe

Court of Appeals of Oregon

July 26, 2017

In the Matter of the Marriage of Elizabeth Anne AAROE, Petitioner-Appellant Cross-Respondent, and David William AAROE, Respondent-Respondent Cross-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted January 9, 2017

         Clackamas County Circuit Court DR10020008, Eve L. Miller, Judge.

          Philip F. Schuster, II, argued the cause and fled the briefs for appellant-cross-respondent.

          Kimberly A. Quach argued the cause for respondent-cross-appellant. With her on the briefs was Quach Family L aw, P C.

          Before DeHoog, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and Sercombe, Senior Judge. [*]

         Case Summary:

         Wife appeals a judgment modifying her spousal support and awarding her indefinite maintenance in the amount of $17, 000 per month. Husband cross-appeals and assigns error to both the amount and duration of the award. The Court of Appeals rejects wife's assignments of error without discussion and writes only to address husband's cross-appeal. On cross-appeal, husband argues that the trial court abused its discretion because the change in circumstances that the court relied on did not justify modifying the spousal support from a limited duration award of $7, 000 per month to an indefinite award of $17, 000 per month. Wife argues that the evidence supported modifying the amount and duration of the award. Held: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in modifying wife's spousal support to an indefinite award in the amount of $17, 000

         Affirmed on appeal and cross-appeal.

          [287 Or.App. 58]

          DEHOOG, P. J.

         In this domestic relations case, wife appeals a judgment modifying her spousal support and awarding her indefinite maintenance support in the amount $17, 000 per month. Wife requests de novo review and raises three assignments of error. She contends that the trial court erred in finding that she had not established that she had Lymes-Babesia disease; that it abused its discretion in denying her request to make the spousal support modification retroactive; and that the amount of the court's award was not just and equitable under the circumstances. Husband cross-appeals and assigns error to both the amount and duration of the award. He argues that, in light of what he views as the court's express findings, it was an abuse of discretion to increase the award in an amount greater than the change in circumstances justified and to make the new award indefinite. We reject wife's assignments of error without written discussion and write only to address husband's cross-appeal regarding the amount and duration of the award. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion and, accordingly, we affirm on husband's cross-appeal.

         We take the facts from the evidence presented at trial and limit our discussion to those facts relevant to husband's cross-appeal, which are largely undisputed. Husband and wife married in 1996. In 2010, when wife and husband were 51 and 53 years of age, respectively, wife petitioned for indefinite separation.[1] Following a trial on wife's petition, the trial court made the following findings of fact:

• Husband's income was at least $500, 000 per year;
• Wife did not have an income at the time of trial;
• Wife would have investment income following the trial because her award of "approximately $2, 000, 000 in non-retirement assets" would give her "the ability to use [those] assets to generate $50, 000 per year in investment income";
• Wife was "very employable at a range of jobs" and "should be able to secure *** employment within 12 months" paying "at least $60, 000 per year";
[287 Or.App. 59] • Wife's proposed $25, 000 per month in spousal support did "not reflect historical spending levels" and was "inflated by costs that [did not] currently exist and [were] unlikely to exist in the future"; and
• Wife's "reasonable living expenses [were] *** $13, 500 per month, together with another $3, 500 per month for income taxes, " giving "her necessary living expenses total[ing] $17, 000 per month."

         Based on those findings, the court entered a general judgment (the 2011 judgment) that dissolved the parties' marriage, divided their assets, and, in relevant part, ordered the following:

         "SPOUSAL ...


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