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:
Gary A. Wessale,
Patricia E. Wessale,
Filed April 29, 1997
Carver County District Court
File No. F1902693
Marcia S. Rowland, Standke, Greene & Greenstein, Ltd., 17717 Highway 7, Minnetonka, MN 55345 (for appellant)
Timothy J. Looby, Melchert, Hubert, Sjodin & Willemssen, P.L.L.P., 121 West Main St., Suite 200, Waconia, MN 55387-1023 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Davies, Judge, and Mansur, Judge.[*]
Appellant challenges the district court's order requiring him to continue to pay spousal maintenance after retirement. We affirm.
Appellant requested that his maintenance obligation be terminated, claiming that, due to early retirement, the current arrangement was unreasonable and unfair. The district court denied his motion, determining that appellant could work and earn $800 per month. The court ordered him to employ an occupational therapist and to register with a temporary employment agency. This appeal followed.
Here, the district court concluded that, although appellant's early, good-faith retirement from his job was a "substantial change in circumstances," it did not make the terms of the maintenance order unreasonable or unfair. Specifically, appellant failed to provide information on his non-pension income, including how much he would receive from social security and workers' compensation. Because appellant failed to meet this burden, the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to terminate appellant's spousal maintenance obligation.
The district court also declined to modify the maintenance award, notwithstanding retirement, because it found that appellant could obtain gainful employment with a new employer. Appellant cites no law or rule establishing that the district court erred in this holding. The district court did not abuse its discretion.
If appellant is unable to secure gainful employment after reasonable attempts to do so, there may then have occurred a change in circumstances that would support a motion to modify maintenance.
Social security benefits are among the financial resources that must be considered in determining spousal maintenance. Taylor v. Taylor, 329 N.W.2d 795, 799 (Minn. 1983). Once the benefits mature and appellant begins to receive them, they become part of appellant's income. See Elliot v. Elliot, 274 N.W.2d 75, 78 (Minn. 1978) (proper to consider future social security benefits as future income when determining maintenance). We see nothing wrong with the district court considering appellant's future social security benefits when determining maintenance.
is the financial need of the spouse receiving maintenance, and the ability to meet that need, balanced against the financial condition of the spouse providing the maintenance.
Novick v. Novick, 366 N.W.2d 330, 334 (Minn. App. 1985).
Appellant argues that the district court erred when it failed to make findings with respect to his ability to pay and respondent's need. A review of the record shows that the district court made findings with respect to appellant's ability to work and both parties' incomes and expenses. From these findings, the district court was able to determine whether the maintenance obligation was fair. The decision by the district court was supported by its findings and is not against logic.
Appellant cannot complain when his own inadequate documentation led to the district court's failure to make more precise findings as to his financial condition. See Tuthill v. Tuthill, 399 N.W.2d 230, 232 (Minn. App. 1987) (this court will not speculate, and appellant cannot complain, if his inadequate documentation, at least in part, leads to trial court's refusal to modify decree). Appellant failed to offer a particularized list of expenses and debts to support his position. The district court, therefore, did not abuse its discretion.
There is evidence on the record that respondent has marketable work skills and is employed. Respondent has the economic wherewithal to pay counsel. Therefore, the district court did not abuse its broad discretion in refusing to award attorney fees.
[ ]* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.