Navigating Spousal Maintenance and Karon Waivers in Divorce
The Financial Challenges of Divorce
Divorce often marks one of the most challenging times for the parties involved. During a marriage, couples typically combine their resources for common goals, debt repayment, and supporting their children. Post-divorce, each party must figure out how to manage these responsibilities independently. One spouse, particularly if they’ve sacrificed career opportunities to support the other, may find themselves at an economic disadvantage and may seek spousal maintenance at the final hearing to maintain a similar standard of living or to pursue new career or educational opportunities. Future modifications to spousal maintenance orders are possible due to changes in circumstances like remarriage or new employment, unless the parties have signed a Karon waiver.
Understanding Karon Waivers
A Karon waiver removes the court’s jurisdiction to modify a spousal maintenance award in the future, regardless of changed circumstances. This binding agreement requires the court’s approval and is enforceable only under specific conditions.
Requirements for a Valid Karon Waiver
- Contractual Agreement: The parties must agree, in writing, that their spousal maintenance terms are non-modifiable under any circumstances.
- Specific Intent: The waiver must clearly state its purpose to strip the court of its future modification abilities.
- Inclusion in Divorce Decree: The waiver must be part of the divorce settlement agreement and the final decree. A waiver not included with the decree is unenforceable.
- Court’s Independent Determination: Under Minnesota Statute 518.522, the court must independently find the waiver fair, equitable, and backed by adequate consideration. Full disclosure of assets by both parties is also essential. Any waiver lacking these elements is subject to court modification.
Seeking Legal Advice for Spousal Maintenance and Divorce
Navigating the complexities of spousal maintenance and Karon waivers in a divorce requires expert legal guidance. Contact us at (320) 299-4249 for a consultation to discuss your divorce and how we can assist in achieving your goals.