Thomas D. Varty, Plaintiff and Appellee
Kathleen A. Varty, Defendant and Appellant
from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable Joshua B. Rustad, Judge.
J. Corcoran, Williston, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
E. Kalil (argued), H. Malcolm Pippin (on brief), and Kaitlin
A. DeCrescente (on brief), Williston, ND, for defendant and
OPINION OF THE COURT
Kathleen Varty appeals from an amended divorce judgment,
arguing the district court erred in reducing Thomas
Varty's spousal support obligation. We affirm.
The parties were married in 1981 and have two adult children.
In 2011 Thomas Varty commenced an action seeking a divorce.
In November 2011 the parties executed a marital termination
agreement dividing their property and awarding Kathleen Varty
spousal support of $3, 175 per month for eight years and $1,
500 per month for four additional years. In December 2011 the
district court entered judgment incorporating the
parties' agreement. The judgment's spousal support
"Plaintiff will pay Defendant spousal support in the
amount of $3, 175 per month for eight years and $1, 500 per
month for four years. There will be spousal support for a
total of twelve years (144 months). Spousal support will be
payable on the first of each month until Defendant dies or
remarries, whichever happens first. Spousal support will not
increase but may be reduced because of, but not limited to,
1. Plaintiff's income is reduced at no fault of his
In August 2017 Thomas Varty moved to terminate spousal
support, claiming his oil field related income was reduced
through no fault of his own. In support of his motion, Thomas
Varty argued his job history shows he left employment at Sun
Well Services in June 2012 for Magna Energy, where he made
about $132, 000 a year. Ranger Energy purchased Magna in
January 2017 and eliminated his position in May 2017. He
found employment with Calfrac in August 2017, and he later
accepted employment at American Well Service making $75, 000
At a hearing on March 21, 2018, the district court received
the parties' testimony and evidence regarding
modification of the spousal support obligation. In May 2018
the court issued its findings of fact, conclusions of law and
order for judgment. The district court subsequently entered
an amended judgment reducing Thomas Varty's spousal
support obligation to $500 per month.
Kathleen Varty argues the district court erred in finding a
material change of circumstances and in reducing Thomas
Varty's spousal support obligation.
Our standard of review for a district court decision