Jurisdiction to Modify Property Settlement Judgment


Shivers v. Shivers, [Ms. 2170228 and 2170229, Aug. 31, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2018). This unanimous decision by Judge Thomas denies in part and affirms in part the Shelby Circuit Court’s order entered on the former husband’s motion to enforce a provision in the parties’ 2010 divorce judgment requiring that the marital residence be sold within 30 months and the equity equally divided. The circuit court denied the former husband’s motion to enforce a sale of the residence and awarded the home to the former wife.

The court concluded that “the provision relating to the former marital residence was a property settlement intended to afford the former wife her share of the parties’ marital property. The trial court therefore lacked the authority to modify the 2010 divorce judgment to award the former marital residence to the former wife ....” Ms. *17 (internal quotation marks omitted).

The court reached a different result with respect to the circuit court’s order requiring the former husband to pay one-half of the expenses for maintenance and repairs to the marital residence incurred after the date upon which it was required to be placed for sale. The court reasoned that the circuit court “retains jurisdiction to enter ‘any future orders or judgments ... as might be prudent in order to enforce, implement, or finally dispose of the entire case by effecting a sale of the [former marital residence].’” Ms. *18, quoting Boyd v. Boyd, 447 So. 2d 790, 793 (Ala. Civ. App. 1984).

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