The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mauro , J.
Marriage of Hoffner and Baber CA3
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
The trial court issued a post-dissolution order reducing the amount of spousal support that William Baber must pay to Susan Hoffner Baber. But the trial court stayed the reduction until the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches 12,500. William appeals, arguing that (1) the trial court did not have authority to stay a legitimate reduction in spousal support and abused its discretion in issuing the stay, and (2) the trial court erred in refusing to terminate or further reduce spousal support.
We conclude the trial court had authority to craft an appropriate order based on the particular circumstances in this case, and that it did not err or abuse its discretion on this record. We will affirm the order.
Some of the factual discussion is derived from our opinion in case No. C048541, of which we take judicial notice. (In re Marriage of Baber (October 26, 2005, C048541) [nonpub. opn.]; Evid. Code, § 451, subd. (a).)
William and Susan were married in July 1974. In October 1999, Susan filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in the Sacramento County Superior Court. (In re Marriage of Baber, supra, C048541.)
On May 22, 2001, the parties stipulated that William would pay Susan $7,300 a month in spousal support, subject to further court order, written agreement of the parties, death of either party, or Susan's remarriage. The stipulation was adopted as a court order on November 27, 2001. The court also granted William's request to change venue from Sacramento County to Butte County. (In re Marriage of Baber, supra, C048541.)
In February 2004, William filed a motion in the Butte County Superior Court seeking to modify the prior spousal support order. The trial court denied his motion and we affirmed in October 2005. (In re Marriage of Baber, supra, C048541.)
Five years later, in February 2009, William filed a motion to terminate spousal support. William stated that the $400,000 in IRA monies Susan received in the marital settlement agreement had increased in value and Susan was now old enough to withdraw money from the account without penalty. William also stated that, subsequent to the spousal support order, Susan had inherited $700,000 from her parents, which she could use to support herself.
Susan opposed the motion on the ground that William failed to establish a material change of circumstances needed to modify the spousal support order. Susan acknowledged the inheritance from her parents and the overall growth in her investment accounts, but she also noted that in the prior 18 months her investments had decreased in value. Susan claimed that unless she was given the opportunity to "grow" her investments, she would not be able to support herself through retirement. Moreover, Susan argued that William continued to live at the marital standard while she did not, and he still had the ability to pay the spousal support ordered.
The issue went to trial over two days in June 2009. At trial, William conceded he had the ability to pay spousal support of $7,300 per month, but argued Susan should nevertheless be required to withdraw money from her ...