When Michael and Kathleen Krupinski divorced back in 1990, a court awarded Kathleen one-third of Michael’s eventual pension benefits as a public school teacher, once he retired and began receiving the payments. Michael was also ordered to pay Kathleen $100 a week in alimony.
Michael continued his education after the divorce, and ultimately became a school administrator, which significantly upped his salary and the value of his pension. By the time he retired in 2010, he was making almost three times the salary he’d been making as a teacher at the time of the divorce, and he started receiving much higher pension payments than he otherwise would have.
Because of this, Michael went back to court and asked to have his alimony obligation terminated, in light of the fact that the increase in his wife’s one-third share of his pension more than made up for it.
A judge initially sided with Kathleen, noting that Michael was still able to afford the alimony payments.
But on appeal, a court said Michael had a good argument. It said that in light of the increased pension benefits, the alimony could be ended if Kathleen didn’t still need it to maintain the lifestyle she had enjoyed during the marriage.