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Metcalf v. Metcalf

Supreme Court of Nebraska
769 N.W.2d 386 (2009)


Facts

Rita Jo Metcalf (defendant) and Kenneth Metcalf (plaintiff) divorced in 1999. Upon divorce, Kenneth was ordered to pay Rita $2,000 per month in alimony for 120 months. Six years later, Kenneth filed a motion for reduction of his alimony obligation. Kenneth alleged that circumstances had changed, because his salary had decreased and Rita’s salary had increased. Following a hearing, the trial court denied his motion. Kenneth did not file an appeal. Two months later, Kenneth filed another motion for reduction of his alimony obligation. The evidence produced at the second hearing made it clear that both Rita and Kenneth were experiencing some degree of financial difficulty. Kenneth could not afford health insurance, had cashed in his retirement account, and had filed for bankruptcy. Rita had entered into various business endeavors and testified that she relied upon Kenneth’s alimony payments when entering those contracts. The trial court denied Kenneth’s second motion for failure to show a material change in circumstances. In making its decision, the trial court considered only the evidence related to the two months between the denial of Kenneth’s first motion and the filing of his second motion. Kenneth appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed. Kenneth appealed again.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McCormack, J.)

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