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EDWARD J. TANNER v. KAREN E. TANNER

DECEMBER 18, 1985

EDWARD J. TANNER
v.
KAREN E. TANNER



BEFORE PATTERSON, PRATHER AND ROBERTSON

PRATHER, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

A difficult financial decision is presented in this separate maintenance suit from the Chancery Court of Harrison County. Karen E. Tanner filed for separate maintenance for herself and four minor children from her husband Edward J. Tanner. From an award of separate maintenance the husband appeals charging that:

(1) The chancellor erred as a matter of law and fact in ordering appellant to pay an aggregate sum exceeding the appellant's net monthly salary, thereby denying appellant a reasonable standard of living.

 (2) The chancellor was in error in ordering that the appellee use "reason and restraint" in utility usage, as such order lacked specificity, definiteness and certainty rendering the order void.

 Karen E. Tanner, age 28 years, and Edward J. Tanner, age 31 years, were married in 1974 and separated in 1985. Four children, ages 10, 9, 6 and 5 were born to this marriage. Mr. Tanner was manager of a fast food restaurant netting a salary of $1460.70 per month. Mrs. Tanner had brain surgery six years ago and suffers from grand mal seizures. Her daily medications include dilantin and phenobarbital. Taking care of the household and family was Mrs. Tanner's daily routine. However, she does not drive an automobile due to susceptibility to seizures and she depends on family and friends for transportation. Mr. Tanner left the family residence and secured a separate apartment. Both parties are of the Catholic faith.

 The chancellor ordered the husband to pay the debts and obligations incurred during the marriage by contract, as follows:

 NAME OF CREDITOR BALANCE MONTHLY PAYMENT

 AMERICAN FINANCE $1,395.00 $82.01 HOUSEHOLD FINANCE 3,740.00 110.00 FIRESTONE 226.15 24.00 JACKSON HOSPITAL 754.02 20.00

 ______________________________ subtotal $6,115.17 $236.01

 OTHER LIABILITY

 CRESCENT FEDERAL $5,886.55 $107.03 _________________________________

 TOTAL $12,001.72 $343.04

 Additionally, taxes and insurance on home were averaged and ordered to be paid by ...


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