This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994). STATE OF MINNESOTA IN COURT OF APPEALS C2-96-189 In Re the Marriage of:, Marcus W. K. Heffelfinger, petitioner, Appellant, vs. Marcia Long Heffelfinger, n/k/a Marcia Marshall Long, Respondent. Filed August 13, 1996 Remanded and motion granted Schultz, Judge* Hennepin County District Court File No. DW73 724 Richard D. Goff, Goff, Kaplan & Wolf, P.A., 900 Capital Centre, 386 North Wabasha, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for Appellant) Nancy Zalusky Berg, Gary A. Debele, Walling & Berg, P.A., 701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 650, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1873 (for Respondent) Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Parker, Judge, and Schultz, Judge. U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N SCHULTZ, Judge The judgment dissolving the marriage of appellant-husband Marcus W.K. Heffelfinger and respondent-wife Marcia Long Heffelfinger, n/k/a Marcia Marshall Long, awarded wife an interest in payments from husband's pension "as maintenance." Husband claims that the award was actually part of the property division and that therefore the district court lacked jurisdiction to modify that award. We remand. FACTS The 1980 judgment dissolving the parties' marriage ruled that, given an equitable division of marital property and a share of husband's pension, wife would not lack sufficient property to provide for her needs. The judgment then awarded wife half of husband's pension payments "as maintenance." When wife sought increased maintenance in May 1995, husband argued that the pension payments were labeled "maintenance" for tax reasons but were actually part of the property division and that the district court lacked jurisdiction to modify the award. In August 1995, a family court referee found that the trial court intended to award wife her interest in the pension payments as property, but concluded that the judgment's label of the payments as "maintenance" was controlling and ordered an evidentiary hearing. The referee did not find whether the pension payments had been labeled "maintenance" for tax reasons. Husband appealed to the district court and, in December 1995, the district court affirmed. Husband appeals. D E C I S I O N 1. A dissolution judgment's maintenance award may be modified, but, absent circumstances not present here, a property award may not. Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subds. 1 (1994) (maintenance), 2(d) (Supp. 1995) (property). The parties agree that whether wife's pension award is maintenance, and subject to modification, or property, and not subject to modification, depends on the trial judge's intent in making the award. Wife's failure to seek district court review of the referee's finding that the trial judge intended to award wife the pension payments as property does not preclude our review of that issue. Warner v. Warner, 391 N.W.2d 870, 873 (Minn. App. 1986). Wife did not notice review of that issue to this court, however, and we need not address it. Watson v. Watson, 379 N.W.2d 588, 591 (Minn. App. 1985). The issue is critical to the appeal. Therefore, we exercise our discretion to review it. See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.04 (appellate court may address issues as justice requires); Arndt v. American Family Ins. Co., 394 N.W.2d 791, 794 (Minn. 1986) (whether to review an issue under Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.04 when the respondent did not file a notice of review is discretionary with the court of appeals). 2. Determining whether the judgment awarded wife the pension payments as property or maintenance requires construction of the dissolution judgment. Judgments "must be construed in light of applicable statutes" and "full effect must be given to that which is necessarily implied in the judgment, as well as to that actually expressed therein." Palmi v. Palmi, 273 Minn. 97, 104, 140 N.W.2d 77, 82 (1966); Stieler v. Stieler, 244 Minn. 312, 319, 70 N.W.2d 127, 131-32 (1955) (respectively). Here, the judgment awards both parties their interests in husband's pension as property. Also, the relevant statute defined vested pension interests as property. Minn. Stat. § 518.54, subd. 5 (1980). Further, because the judgment stated that wife did not lack sufficient property to meet her needs, the trial court functionally found that wife did not satisfy the statutory requirements to receive maintenance. See Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 1(a) (1980) (to receive maintenance, recipient must lack sufficient property to provide for his or her needs). Thus, several aspects of the dissolution judgment suggest that the trial court awarded wife half of husband's pension payments as property. Other aspects of the judgment, however, suggest that the trial court awarded wife half of husband's pension payments as maintenance. The judgment sets wife's payments in an amount equal to wife's temporary maintenance award, explicitly designates the pension payments "as maintenance," and states that the payments will terminate on the occurrence of events that typically terminate maintenance. See Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 3 (1980) (listing conditions which automatically terminate maintenance obligations). The existence of ambiguity in a dissolution judgment is a legal question. Head v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 449 N.W.2d 449, 452 (Minn. App. 1989) (citing Halverson v. Halverson, 381 N.W.2d 69, 71 (Minn. App. 1986)), review denied (Minn. Feb. 21, 1990). Because the judgment can be read in more than one way, it is ambiguous. See Landwehr v. Landwehr, 380 N.W.2d 136, 138 (Minn. App. 1985) (ambiguity exists if, "judged by its language alone," judgment could reasonably have more than one interpretation). Because ambiguity exists, extrinsic evidence may be used to resolve the ambiguity, and we remand for the district court to address explicitly the question of whether the award to wife of half of husband's pension payments was made as part of the property award or as a maintenance award. See Koecher v. Koecher, 374 N.W.2d 542, 546 (Minn. App. 1985) (where judgment provision was ambiguous, district court should have received extrinsic evidence to interpret the provision (citing Stieler, 244 Minn. at 319, 70 N.W.2d at 131)), review denied (Minn. Nov. 26, 1985). 3. On this record, we award wife $2,500 for attorney fees on appeal. 4. Nothing in this opinion is an expression of how the district court should decide the case on remand. Remanded and motion granted. * Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10. We reject wife's claim that maintenance may be modified because the district court has "inherent power" to do equity in family court cases. The question here is whether the district court has the jurisdiction to do the equity to which wife claims entitlement. See Stevens v. Stevens, 501 N.W.2d 634, 637 (Minn. App. 1993) (district court lacks jurisdiction to "convert" a property award to a maintenance award). The cases wife cites to support this aspect of her argument are distinguishable.