FROM FLOYD FAMILY COURT HONORABLE DWIGHT S. MARSHALL, JUDGE
FOR APPELLANT: Diana L. Skaggs, Elizabeth M. Howell
FOR APPELLEE: Gerald DeRossett
BEFORE: KRAMER, CHIEF JUDGE; ACREE AND JOHNSON, JUDGES.
Arthur Giese ("Terry") brings this appeal from the
Floyd Family Court's Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law
and Judgment, entered March 20, 2015,  denying his
motion to modify support and maintenance obligations
established in 2006 in dissolution proceedings initiated in a
Tennessee court. After reviewing the record in conjunction
with the applicable legal authorities, we REVERSE the
judgment and REMAND to the Floyd Family Court for further
proceedings consistent with this Opinion.
and Elizabeth Giese (Hamilton) ("Elizabeth")
divorced on December 27, 2006, following a 19-year marriage.
The marriage and divorce occurred within the state of
Tennessee. At the time of the divorce, the Tennessee court
found that Terry was capable of earning $80, 000.00 per year
and ordered "Alimony in Futuro" (hereinafter
"spousal maintenance") at $1, 500.00 per month.
"Alimony in futuro" is defined by the Tennessee
legislature as "periodic alimony … a payment of
support and maintenance on a long term basis or until death
or remarriage of the recipient." Tennessee Code
Annotated (Tenn. Code Ann.) § 36-5-121(f)(1)(2)(3).
domesticated the Tennessee judgment with the Floyd Circuit
Court on September 6, 2011, as he and Elizabeth were now
residents of Kentucky and continue to reside in this state to
this day. Subsequently, Terry moved the Floyd Circuit Court
to modify his Tennessee-ordered spousal maintenance
obligation on November 1, 2012, based on allegations that
Elizabeth had begun cohabitating with another individual and
that Terry had suffered "a substantial and continuing
reduction in his income".
Floyd Circuit Court held its motion in abeyance, citing
ongoing litigation between the parties in Tennessee.
Elizabeth then failed to appear at a scheduled hearing in
front of the Tennessee court, which dismissed Elizabeth's
perjury allegation against Terry, and determined that
"any and all other matters (i.e. Child Support and
Alimony) will be heard by the Courts of competent
jurisdiction for the State of Kentucky since [Elizabeth],
[Terry] and the parties' child (Ron), all reside in
Kentucky and have for over one (1) year."
Floyd Circuit Court consequently overruled Terry's motion
to modify his spousal maintenance, finding he had not shown
grounds to modify it. Terry then appealed that ruling to us.
the lower court is alleged to be acting outside its
jurisdiction, as alleged in the present case, the proper
standard is de novo review because jurisdiction is generally
only a question of law." Karem v. Bryant, ...