A Karon waiver is a term used in Minnesota family law based on the legal precedent set in the case Karon v. Karon, 435 N.W.2d 501 (Minn. 1989).
With a “Karon waiver,” the parties stipulate that there will be no future modification of spousal maintenance at the time the award is made. It is a waiver of the statutory right to modification of maintenance or support.
Sometimes a person requesting a Karon waiver agrees to pay additional monies to secure the waiver. Some spousal maintenance obligors are willing to pay a premium for a waiver since they know that a properly worded Karon waiver is not modifiable and thus, their maintenance obligation cannot increase in the future.
Just as a properly worded Karon waiver divests the court of jurisdiction to increase a maintenance award, it divests the court of jurisdiction to decrease or terminate an award except as stated in the agreement. Thus, if an obligor’s income unexpectedly decreases, the court will not be able to reduce the amount of the maintenance award. This can lead to judgments being sought by the obligee for the unpaid amount or contempt proceedings. Finally, it is important to consult with an attorney regarding the specific findings and language necessary to make a Karon waiver effective.