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BARBARA KAYE BUSH v. C. NOLON BUSH

JUNE 06, 1984

BARBARA KAYE BUSH
v.
C. NOLON BUSH



BEFORE PATTERSON, C.J., HAWKINS & PRATHER, JJ.

PATTERSON, CHIEF JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, wherein Barbara Kaye Bush was granted a divorce from her husband, C. Nolon Bush, on the ground of uncondoned adultery. Additionally, the chancellor's final decree awarded Mrs. Bush custody of the parties' minor children, use and possession of the household goods and of one of the parties' automobiles, and the following sums: (1) $7,500.00 to be used to pay storage fees on certain household goods and for relocation expenses; (2) $10,000.00 lump sum alimony to be paid in equal installments on or before October 1, 1983, and on or before April 1, 1984; (3) $800.00 per month child support; and (4) $1500.00 attorneys fees. Bush was also required to maintain a minimum $100,000 insurance policy on his own life with the children of the parties as named beneficiaries and to pay all medical, dental, orthodontic, optical, and all reasonably necessary psyciatric/psychological expenses of the minor children.

Aggrieved with this judgment, Mrs. Bush appeals and assigns as error that the chancellor failed:

 1. To award periodic payments of alimony;

 2. To require Bush to post bond as security for payment of alimony and child support; and

 3. To award an amount for necessities which had accrued at the time of trial.

 The parties were married in July 1971, and had two children: a son in 1975 and a daughter in 1980. Nolon Bush also had three children from a previous marriage.

 Barbara Bush ceased living with her husband when she discovered he was involved in an adulterous relationship with a colleague. The details of that liaison need not be discussed, since it is undisputed here that Mrs. Bush is entitled to a divorce on the ground of adultery. This case instead centers on the issue of the amount of support Bush should be required to pay and whether sureties for the payment of those amounts should be required.

 Mrs. Bush first contends that the chancellor erred in refusing to award periodic payment alimony. We are of the opinion this case should be remanded for consideration of that issue. In so holding, we note first in fairness to the chancellor that Bush's financial picture, as it appears in the record, is hazy. We agree with the chancellor's observation that" [T]here was no way to tell what [Bush's] business is, what [he has] made, what [he has] spent, where it has gone, whether the government has gotten what they were supposed to, or what it was. "However, we are concerned that the apparent reason for the refusal of periodic payment alimony was not the difficulty of ascertaining Bush's financial condition, but that the chancellor was of the opinion such an award could not be made in combination with an award of lump sum alimony. Our conclusion is based on the following colloquy:

 BY THE COURT:

 If you would rather have that than the alimony lump sum that I show, we will go along with it.

 BY MR. FERRELL:

 No, sir.

 BY THE COURT:

 That is what I thought, and why I thought what I was offering was better. But I will ...


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