Veleba v. Mackiewicz

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Veleba v. Mackiewicz

Case Number
S-22-0128
Call Date
November 2, 2022
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Douglas
Case Location
Nebraska City High School
Court Type
District Court
Case Summary

S-22-0128 Kari L. Mackiewicz n/k/a Kari L. Veleba (Appellant) v. James A. Mackiewicz (Appellee)

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County, Judge W. Russell Bowie III

Attorneys: John A. Kinney, Jill M. Mason, Samantha M. Robb (Kinney Mason, for Appellant) and Robert W. Futhey and Alexander S. Arkfeld (Fraser Stryker for Appellee).

Civil: Complaint to Modify Decree and Modification of Alimony

Proceedings Below: The trial court sustained Appellee’s Motion to reduce alimony. On appeal and on its own motion, the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered that this case be removed from the docket of the Nebraska Court of Appeals and transferred to its docket. 

Issues: On appeal, Appellant makes the following assignments of error:  1) The trial court erred in modifying James’ alimony obligation despite the parties entering into a consent Decree of Dissolution of Marriage; 2) The trial court erred in modifying James’ alimony obligation, reducing the same by eighty-four percent of future alimony, despite James voluntarily leaving his job of eight years in Nebraska to work for a “start up;” and 3) The trial court erred in failing to conclude that alimony was non-modifiable.

Extended Case Summary

S-22-0128 Kari L. Mackiewicz n/k/a Kari L. Veleba (Appellant) v. James A. Mackiewicz (Appellee)

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County, Judge W. Russell Bowie.

Attorneys: John A. Kinney, Jill M. Mason, Samantha M. Robb (Kinney Mason for Appellant) and Robert W. Futhey and Alexander S. Arkfeld (Fraser Stryker for Appellee).

Civil: Complaint to Modify Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) and Modification of Alimony

Proceedings Below: In 2017, Kari and James entered into a divorce agreement.  Pursuant to the terms of the divorce agreement, James was to pay Kari alimony over the course of thirteen (13) years in an amount that totaled $420,000.00.  At the time the parties divorced, James was earning approximately $163,000 a year, and Kari was completing studies in a doctoral program and was earning less than $20,000 a year.

In 2020, James requested that the terms of the divorce be changed.  According to James, he had lost his job, and Kari had completed her studies and was earning approximately $75,000 a year.  James alleged that because the circumstances had changed since the divorce, the alimony payments should either be reduced or eliminated even though they agreed to the original alimony payments.  The trial court agreed with James and reduced the alimony amount. Kari appealed, and the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered that this case be removed from the docket of the Nebraska Court of Appeals and transferred to its docket. 

Both sides have filed briefs in the case. In her brief, Kari argues that the trial court incorrectly:  1) decided to modify James’ alimony obligation despite the parties agreeing to a higher amount under the terms of the divorce; 2) decided to reduce James’ alimony obligation by eighty-four percent (84%), despite the fact that James quit his job to work for a “start up;” and 3) concluded that alimony could be changed in this case.  The case is now ready for oral argument before the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Schedule Code
SC