may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Kathleen E. Arndt, n/k/a Kathleen E. Kralovic,
Charles E. Arndt,
Filed February 25, 1997
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 171281
Roselyn J. Nordaune, Nordaune & Friesen, 1040 Interchange Tower, 600 South Highway 169, St. Louis Park, MN 55426 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Amundson, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
Kathleen E. Arndt, n/k/a Kathleen E. Kralovic, and respondent Charles E. Arndt were divorced in 1991. The judgment and decree incorporated the parties' stipulation and obligated respondent to pay spousal maintenance until "either party's death or January 20, 2006, whichever first occurs." The decree further provided:
In no event shall spousal maintenance continue after January 20, 2006, and [appellant] waives any further spousal maintenance after said date and the Court shall be divested of any jurisdiction to award spousal maintenance after said date.
When appellant remarried on September 22, 1995, respondent stopped making maintenance payments. This appeal is from the district court's order granting respondent's motion to terminate his maintenance obligation as of the date of appellant's remarriage. Because the decree does not expressly provide that maintenance will continue beyond appellant's remarriage, as required by Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 3 (1994), we affirm.
In statutory language unchanged since its enactment in 1978, spousal maintenance terminates upon death or remarriage. See 1978 Minn. Laws ch. 772, § 59 (codified at Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 3 (1994)). The statute provides:
Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the decree, the obligation to pay future maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance.
Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 3 (1994). Therefore, unless the decree "expressly" states that maintenance will continue or unless a contrary intent is clear from the parties' agreement as a whole, a spousal maintenance obligation terminates upon the obligee's remarriage. See Telma v. Telma, 474 N.W.2d 322, 323 (Minn. 1991); Erickson v. Erickson, 449 N.W.2d 173, 178 (Minn. 1989); Gunderson v. Gunderson, 408 N.W.2d 852, 853 (Minn. 1987).
The decree here contains no express or affirmative statement that maintenance will continue beyond appellant's remarriage. It is silent on the issue of remarriage and no contrary intent can be inferred from the agreement as a whole. While the decree contains a waiver by appellant of her right to seek modification of respondent's maintenance obligation beyond January 20, 2006, it does not contain a similar waiver by respondent. The decree left respondent free to bring a motion to terminate his maintenance obligation at any time. Cf. Telma, 474 N.W.2d at 323 (remarriage did not terminate obligation where obligor unequivocally waived right to seek modification of maintenance award and agreed to termination only on two specified events, not including remarriage).
Accordingly, under Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 3, respondent's maintenance obligation terminated upon appellant's remarriage. This result is consistent with other cases in which maintenance terminated upon the remarriage of the party receiving it. See, e.g., Gunderson, 408 N.W.2d at 853 (decree required husband to pay maintenance for 42 months, after which "all further maintenance shall be terminated"); Kahn v. Tronnier, 547 N.W.2d 425, 429-30 (Minn. App. 1996) (decree ordered husband to pay maintenance through December 1991, after which district court retained jurisdiction over maintenance and maintenance would terminate upon either party's death), review denied (Minn. July 10, 1996); Poehls v. Poehls, 502 N.W.2d 217, 218-19 (Minn. App. 1993) (decree required husband to provide permanent maintenance until death of either party or until further court order); Peterson v. Lobeck, 421 N.W.2d 367, 368 (Minn. App. 1988) (decree required husband to pay maintenance for 48 months or until wife completed her bachelor's degree); West v. West, 410 N.W.2d 58, 60-61 (Minn. App. 1987) (decree continued maintenance for five years or until wife's death, whichever first occurred), review denied (Minn. Oct. 21, 1987).