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HUGH H. HARALSON, III v. BETTY JANE HARALSON

FEBRUARY 19, 1986

HUGH H. HARALSON, III
v.
BETTY JANE HARALSON



BEFORE WALKER, DAN LEE AND ROBERTSON

WALKER, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Hugh H. Haralson appeals from a judgment of the Chancery Court of Scott County awarding Betty Jane Haralson a divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment and awarding her the use of certain real property of the parties, the ownership of personal property and lump sum alimony.

The Haralsons were married on June 30, 1976, and made their home in Forest, Mississippi. No children were born of this marriage. Mrs. Haralson's teenage son from a previous marriage lived with them.

 Hugh Haralson worked as a certified public accountant prior to selling his accounting firm. He owns a minority interest in several corporations in the Forest area involved in the chicken industry. Mr. Haralson also owns an interest in the local Ford dealership. Mrs. Haralson had worked prior to marrying Mr. Haralson but did not afterwards at his request.

 On this appeal Hugh Haralson cites ten (10) assignments of error committed in the court below. Because one of these is despositive of the case we will only address that one: the question of whether Mrs. Haralson was entitled to a divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.

 In support of her complaint, Mrs. Haralson testified as to a number of incidents to illustrate the appellant's cruel and inhuman treatment.

 Once during the time when the couple was attempting to have children of their own, the appellant purportedly refused to have sexual relations with the appellee at a

 time when it was more likely she would conceive. The couple had had an argument and the appellant was still angry.

 On another occasion the appellant became angry and told appellee that he did not love her and the next day wanted to have sexual relations with her. He is alleged to have said that it was just a physical need and had nothing to do with love.

 Mrs. Haralson testified that the appellant one time kicked her on the backside, causing her to scream out in pain.

 Appellee and her son complained that the appellant was critical of the son's behavior and on several occasions told him dirty jokes. There was testimony that the appellant restricted the visits of the son's natural father to the home and that the appellant was not friendly and attentive when his in-laws came to visit.

 Most of the problems of the marriage just prior to separation seemed to center on Mrs. Haralson's desire to pursue a career in interior decorating and on disputes over money. The appellant restricted her spending and on occasion threatened to withhold money from her.

 The appellant was not happy that his wife was gone during the day to classes at a junior college and then later to the University of Southern Mississippi. The appellee continued the classes despite her husband's objections.

 Recent cases of this Court have reaffirmed the need for adequate proof to sustain a divorce grounded on habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. Fournet v. Fournet, No. 56,516 (Miss. December 18, 1985); Kergosien v. Kergosien, 471 So.2d 1206 (Miss.1985); Churchill v. Churchill, 467 So.2d 948 (Miss.1985); Stennis v. Stennis 464 So.2d 1161 (Miss.1985); ...


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