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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant Lou Crane appeals from the trial court’s denial of her motion for periodic review and for continuation of spousal maintenance. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Unlike a motion to modify maintenance where the movant is required to prove a material and substantial change in circumstances of one of the parties before the court can modify its prior order to reduce or terminate maintenance, a request for the trial court to review continuation of the spousal maintenance order appears to place no special burden of proof on the movant other than to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her disability is continuing. Although Texas Family Code �8.054(b) states that the continuation of spousal maintenance is subject to a motion to modify as provided by �8.057, this reference to �8.057 does not require that the movant who is requesting the trial court to review continuation of the spousal maintenance order show a material and substantial change in circumstances. The reference to �8.057 means that the order of continuation itself will be subject to future modification if the obligor contends that the amount of the payments must be reduced, and, in that event, the obligor must show a material and substantial change in the circumstances of either party. Simply labeling an action as a motion for continuation, rather than a motion to modify maintenance, is not sufficient to invoke �8.054(b); rather, the trial court’s final divorce decree controls. The duration of a spousal maintenance award is determined at the time of the divorce, when the trial court must determine whether spousal maintenance will be ordered for a period of up to three years pursuant to section 8.054(a) or, if the trial court finds that the spouse has an incapacitating physical or mental disability, for more than three years pursuant to section 8.054(b). Once the maintenance order is incorporated into a final judgment, the language of the final decree of divorce then controls whether a movant may file a motion to continue maintenance. In the final divorce decree here, even as corrected, the trial court ordered appellee to make spousal maintenance payments from June 1999 through December 2002, a period of more than three years. The trial court had authority only to order maintenance for more than three years under �8.054(b); therefore, the court interprets the decree as impliedly based on a finding of physical or mental disability under �8.054(b), since maintenance for any other reason is limited to three years under �8.054(a). Moreover, in the order appealed from, denying appellant’s motion for continuation of spousal maintenance, the trial court expressly noted that appellant “cannot support herself at appropriate employment because of the incapacitating physical disability which she was found to be under at the time of divorce” and that she lacks sufficient property or income to meet her minimum reasonable needs. The court holds that the trial court incorrectly treated appellant’s motion for continuation of spousal maintenance as a motion under �8.057 to modify the maintenance ordered by the original decree. And, because the request for the trial court to review continuation of the spousal maintenance order placed no special burden of proof on appellant other than to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that her disability was continuing, the trial court erred in imposing on appellant the burden to prove a material and substantial change in the circumstances of either party under �8.057(c). OPINION:Gardner, J.; Holman, Gardner and McCoy, JJ.

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