Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Marriage of Orr

Supreme Court of Montana

November 28, 2017

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF: DANIEL E. ORR, Petitioner and Appellant,
v.
MELINDA J. ORR, Respondent and Appellee.

          Submitted on Briefs: October 11, 2017

         APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, In and For the County of Missoula, Cause No. DR 13-426 Honorable Robert L. Deschamps, III, Presiding Judge

          Jamie J. McKittrick, Thomas H. Stanton, Wells & McKittrick, P.C. For Appellant:

          Raymond P. Tipp, Tipp Coburn Schandelson, P.C.; Missoula, Montana For Appellee

          Justice Jim Rice

         ¶1 Daniel E. Orr (Daniel) appeals the order denying his motion to modify maintenance, entered in the Fourth Judicial District, Missoula County. We affirm, and address the following issue:

         Did the District Court err when it determined that maintenance, incorporated into the decree from the marital property settlement agreement, was not modifiable by the court?

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Daniel and Melinda Orr, k/n/a Melinda Koffler, (Melinda) were married in 1985 and have three adult children. Daniel filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in July 2013. Both parties were represented by counsel and engaged in lengthy negotiations that ultimately resulted in a Marital and Property Settlement Agreement (the Agreement) on May 16, 2014, in which the parties consented to entry of a Decree of Legal Separation. The District Court entered a Final Decree of Legal Separation the same day, incorporating the Agreement and, although the record before us does not include the transcript of the hearing, the Decree states the District Court found the Agreement was reasonable, equitable, and not unconscionable.

         ¶3 The Agreement divided assets and debts between the parties. Section 11 addressed maintenance, and section 13 distributed property, including the couple's business, Iron Orr Welding, Inc. (the business).[1] The Agreement provided that if the matter remained a legal separation, Melinda was entitled to 30% monthly distributions from the business, but would receive no maintenance. However, if the matter was converted into a marriage dissolution, then Melinda would relinquish her interest in the business and Daniel would pay Melinda $3, 000 per month in maintenance for a period of three and one-half years. Section 21 stated as follows, including a provision regarding modification:

21. ENTIRE AGREEMENT: This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties. There are no representations, warranties,
covenants, or any other undertakings of any sort of nature other than those expressly set forth or discussed herein. Time is of the essence of the terms and condition of this Agreement. This Agreement may not be amended or modified except by an agreement in writing, duly subscribed and acknowledged with the same formality that has been employed in the execution of this Agreement.

(Underline and bold in original, emphasis added.)

         ¶4 On November 19, 2014, on Daniel's motion, the District Court converted the Decree of Legal Separation to a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, triggering Melinda's relinquishment of her interest in the business and Daniel's obligation to pay her $3, 000 monthly maintenance payments, beginning December 2014. At that time, Daniel was operating the business in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, and he made maintenance payments to Melinda for six months, totaling $18, 000. However, when the oil market declined, Daniel was unable to find work ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.