Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for
the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Trial Court No. 155, 938
Honorable John M. Robinson, Judge (Pro Tempore)
& HUCKABAY By: Pugh T. Huckabay, III Counsel for
VISHNEFSKI LAW FIRM, LLC By: Rebecca L. Vishnefski Counsel
GARRETT, STONE and COX, JJ.
Hanna and John Hanna were granted a divorce in the 26th
Judicial District Court, Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Ms. Hanna
is appealing the trial court's judgment terminating her
award of interim periodic spousal support upon the judgment
of divorce. Mr. Hanna is appealing the trial court's
order holding him in contempt for failure to timely pay
interim spousal support. For the following reasons, we affirm
the judgment terminating interim periodic spousal support and
respectfully reverse the finding of contempt.
Ms. Hanna were married on November 20, 2014. Ms. Hanna filed
a petition for divorce pursuant to La. C.C. art. 102 on April
18, 2018. At the time of the filing, Ms. Hanna had stage III
breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The two were
still living in the same home, but in different bedrooms. In
her petition for divorce, she claimed that Mr. Hanna was
verbally abusive, which caused her anxiety and exacerbated
her medical condition. Ms. Hanna stated that due to her
medical and financial conditions, she was unable to leave the
matrimonial domicile and support herself. She requested
interim periodic spousal support under La. C.C. art. 111 for
her care and support. She also reserved her right to seek
permanent spousal support under La. C.C. art. 112 because she
claimed to be free from fault.
judgment was signed and filed on July 12, 2018, which awarded
Ms. Hanna interim periodic spousal support of $2, 000 per
month. The judgment states that it is pursuant to the
"stipulations and agreement of the parties, and for
reasons this day orally assigned." The record does not
contain a transcript of oral reasons. The court minutes, Mr.
Hanna's answer and reconventional demand, and Ms.
Hanna's answer to reconventional demand all state that
the parties agreed to that judgment. The judgment was
accompanied by an immediate income assignment order.
January 23, 2019, Mr. Hanna filed a first supplemental and
amended petition. He alleged that the parties separated on
April 30, 2018, and have not reconciled since that date, a
period of more than 180 days prior to the filing of this
petition. He requested a judgment of divorce pursuant to La.
C.C. art. 103. On February 12, 2019, Mr. Hanna filed an
answer to the 102 petition and reconventional demand pursuant
article 103. He requested a final divorce and termination of
interim spousal support.
trial court granted the divorce on April 9, 2019. In the
judgment, the trial court scratched through the portion of
the judgment which would have terminated the interim spousal
April 19, 2019, Ms. Hanna filed a rule to increase the
interim spousal support and for contempt for nonpayment. On
May 2, 2019, the trial court signed an order setting a
hearing for all pending matters and terminating the income
29, 2019, Ms. Hanna filed a rule for final periodic spousal
support. The hearing on that issue was set for August 27,
hearing was held on May 30, 2019, regarding the issues of
contempt and interim spousal support. After hearing the
parties' arguments, the trial court stated that the
legislative amendment, which changed the interim support
termination date from the date of divorce to six months
post-divorce, is "a huge change." The trial court
found the revisions to La. C.C. art. 113 to be substantive
and granted the rule to terminate interim support. Mr. Hanna
was held to be in contempt for nonpayment, but purged himself
of the contempt by making spousal support payments after the
divorce. Mr. Hanna was assessed with attorney fees in the
amount of $750 and costs of the proceedings attributable to
the motion for contempt.
Hanna is appealing the trial court's ruling that the
amendment to La. C.C. art. 113 is substantive and therefore
not retroactive. Mr. Hanna is appealing the trial court's