There was an interesting wrinkle in the progress of the appeal. It was selected to go to mediation which essentially puts the appeal process on hold (I'm not sure if this is as common elsewhere as it is in Minnesota), but then my ex chose not to retain representation which in turn caused the mediation requirement to be reversed and started the clock ticking again. But this means that transcripts now aren't due until late April, which will mean our brief will be due by late May, followed by her counter and then our counter. I'm know I'm stating this in layman's terms based upon my limited experience and understanding of the process, but basically it will be quite a while before this gets ruled upon in the appellate court.
The increase to spousal maintenance was a counter-motion from my ex requesting a COLA increase. That in itself is bothersome to me, since I have sole custody of our son (which includes all expenses except one-third medical), and I have been sinking in debt while my ex is accruing savings and retirement (clearly shown by financial statements from both of us). However, two other rulings were related to < parenting time > which was not motioned for by either side. Also, in the memorandum section of the ruling there are issues such as:
Judge states that my ex pays rent to the man she lives with despite ex admitting in court and in her counter-motion that she does not pay rent.
My ex's actual expenses per her financial statements are over $700 less a month than her budget yet the judge accepted her budget.
Certain items budgeted by my ex were proven false in our motion (a car payment that doesn't exist; vastly overbudgeting for tax on spousal maintenance) yet this was ignored by the judge.
Certain items were ignored by my ex (the man bought her a laptop computer and a tanning bed). They were never denied by my ex - her attorney just asked why we felt they were relevant to which we responded that as gifts they help establish a relationship between my ex and the man. But they just failed to ever respond, and the judge apparently felt either that it was acceptable to ignore our requests about these items or that these are normal gifts that roommates would purchase for each other.
The judge accepted my ex's argument that she was lying years ago in written correspondence about being in love with the man and being in a relationship with him (even during deposition), and accepted that the man ended his 10+ year relationship with my ex's mom to help out my ex as a friend (and continues to do so).
And the list goes on...
My research of the new cohabitation law came to the same results you found. It is not having much success in court which appears to be due to the judges' interpretation of the law. One person I heard from shared that the judge assigned to their case commented: "You mean to tell me some legislator can change my order... I don't think so" and denied their motion under the same law. Personally, I interpret that as a judge explicitly admitting that they have no intention of administering a law that they are sworn to uphold. I guess I was very naïve for much of my life. I never doubted that judges would make bias decisions - it's human nature and bound to happen at times. But comments like that seem to be incredibly arrogant to me, and would indicate that there is no fear of ramification which I would not have expected. Unless the judge is Steven Seagal they should not be "Above the Law".
In my case though I think it is due mainly due to bias from the judge assigned to my case. I don't think there is any evidence I could have provided that would have resulted in a different outcome as this judge has already ruled against me at every opportunity. She allowed my ex to choose and switch therapists three times, and then allowed her to terminate therapy for our son based only on her desire and not that of myself, our son or any of the therapists.
Take for example the ruling for weekly phone calls that wasn't even motioned for. It specified a day and time each week that she should call to talk to our son. We are ten weeks into 2017 and she has talked to him five times (once about every other week). She has never called on the appointed day or time, and three of the five calls didn't last more than five minutes. She visited him in January (about twelve hours total over two days but refused to do an overnight despite the judges ruling) and she told him she won't see him again until probably July. But I remind him to be available for her call on the designated day every week because - even though she has never called at the appointed day/time - if she DOES one time call and he misses the call for any reason I have no doubt whatsoever that the judge will find me to be in contempt of court. So a ruling that seems like a good thing is just something I need to be aware of each week and puts our son in a position of waiting for calls that he knows aren't going to happen anyway. If I ask my ex to call at the appointed time she will claim I am harassing her. If I push my son to talk to her about calling at the planned time I will be putting him in the middle of things. I know this sounds crazy but it is what I have lived with for years now. My ex has made this into a game and she got the judge to play along.
I used to try to speak up for what is best for our son but I've been taught repeatedly it's just better to play along as well. But the only one that loses in this is our son because he has come to expect that he is only worth the little bit of time that his mom can spare for him around her schedule. And I can't even begin to understand how a phone call every other week and a visit every six months would be enough time with him. Thankfully I have time with him every day which honestly is worth everything else I've had to deal with. I am admittedly biased on this issue but he's an amazing kid.