Spousal Maintenance & Karon Waivers
August 19, 2014 at 9:11 AM
If you are in a divorce proceeding, or are considering a divorce, you have probably heard of spousal maintenance. In certain situations, when calculating spousal maintenance, parties will consider signing a Karon waiver. A Karon waiver is a provision that ensures that a spousal maintenance award will not be reduced or increased in the amount or the length of time that it is owed. It also rids the district court of further jurisdiction on the issue of spousal maintenance and waives both parties’ rights to modify the amount or duration of maintenance in the future. In a recent case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals made clear that if a valid Karon waiver exists, a subsequent stipulated order modifying spousal maintenance is void and not enforceable.
If you are in a matter involving the issue of spousal maintenance, and a valid Karon waiver is incorporated into the final divorce decree, this case provides that the parties cannot modify the maintenance award after the final decree is issued, even if both parties agree to it but later withdraw that agreement.
This case represents the significance of consulting with a family law attorney prior to waiving rights regarding spousal maintenance or when seeking a modification of a spousal maintenance order.
Gossman v. Gossman, 847 N.W.2d 718 (Minn. App. 2014).