State of Utah v. Byrd

Annotate this Case
Byrd v. Byrd. Filed December 6, 1978

Robert Byrd, Plaintiff and Appellant,

vs.

Adrianna Byrd, Defendant and Respondent.

No. 15570

SUPREME COURT OF UTAH

Slip Opinion

December 6, 1978, Filed

COUNSEL

Robert Felton for plaintiff and appellant.

Edwin F. Guyon for defendant and respondent.

OPINION

PER CURIAM: Appeal from a decision of the district court denying appellant's petition for modification of a divorce decree as to alimony payment. We affirm.

The parties were married in August, 1960 and divorced in March, 1976. In the divorce decree the property was divided and respondent was given custody of an only child. Appellant was given reasonable visitation rights and was ordered to pay monthly $125 child support and $175 alimony. On stipulated facts, at the time of the divorce respondent had no income and appellant had an annual income of approximately $13,000. Since that time respondent has secured employment and, at the time the petition for modification was filed, was earning approximately $9,000 per annum. Appellant's annual income has increased to approximately $15,000. Due to a "material change in circumstances" since the divorce decree was entered, appellant sought elimination of his alimony obligation. The trial court denied the petition and this appeal followed.

By statute, the district court has continuing jurisdiction over a divorce decree and may make changes as to the support and maintenance of the parties.1 However, the burden is on the moving party to prove the changed circumstances,2 and we will modify the trial court's decision only where an abuse of discretion is shown.3 In the instant case, it would be unreasonable for the court to assume that after the divorce, respondent would have to go to work to survive; hence, it was not unreasonable to conclude that the changed circumstances did not warrant modification of the original decree.

Affirmed with costs to respondent.

Note: This opinion is considered as adding nothing to the law and, consequently, will not be published in the Utah Reporter or Pacific Reporter.

OPINION FOOTNOTES

1 U.C.A., 1953, 30-3-5.

2 Gardner v. Gardner, 111 Utah 286, 177 P.2d 743 (1947).

3 Anderson v. Anderson, 104 Utah 104, 138 P.2d 252 (1943).