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JEAN ANN SMITH EAST v. A. L. EAST

AUGUST 13, 1986

JEAN ANN SMITH EAST
v.
A. L. EAST, III



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, HAWKINS AND SULLIVAN

HAWKINS, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Jean Ann East appeals from a decree of the chancery court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County reducing the monthly payments her former husband A.L. East

obligated himself to make in their property settlement agreement, incorporated in their decree for divorce on irreconciliable differences, and also cancelling the employment contract between Mrs. East and the corporation in which Mr. East is the sole, or majority stockholder.

 We find the agreement entered into between Mr. and Mrs. East not subject to modification. We further find the chancellor had no authority to settle any dispute between Mrs. East and the corporation without making it a party to the action, and reverse and render.

 FACTS

 A. L. East, III, and Jean Ann Smith East married in 1950. He became a successful businessman in Jackson. In October, 1977, they separated. On March 28, 1979, there was a final decree of divorce between them on the ground of irreconcilable differences. On February 21, 1979, when each was represented by legal counsel, they executed an agreement entitled" Alimony and Property Settlement Agreement. "

 Pertinent portions of this agreement state:

 WHEREAS, the parties hereto desire to define their respective obligations to each other, to enter into an Agreement under which their respective financial and property rights, alimony, and all other respective rights, remedies, privileges and obligations to each other, arising out of the marriage relation, or otherwise, shall be fully prescribed and bounded thereby; and

 WHEREAS, the parties hereto have been fully, separately and independently apprised and advised of their respective legal rights, remedies, privileges, and obligations arising out of the marriage relation, or otherwise, by counsel of their own choice and selection, and each having, in addition thereto, made independent inquiry and investigation with respect to all of the same, and each having been fully informed of the other's assets, property, holdings, income and prospects; and

 WHEREAS, the parties hereto each warrant and represent to the other that they, and each of them, fully understand all of the terms, covenants, conditions, provisions, and obligations encumbered upon each of them by virtue of this

 Agreement to be performed or contemplated by each of them hereto, and each believes the same to be fair, just, reasonable and to his respective individual best interest.

 * * * * *

 That, as alimony and as further consideration for the settlement of the claim of Wife to Husband's properties, Husband agrees to pay unto Wife the sum of Five Thousand and NO/100 Dollars, ($5,000.00), per month, payable on the fourth day of each and every month hereafter, said payment not to terminate upon the death of Husband, but shall constitute a charge against his Estate until the death of Wife, irrespective of her possible remarriage. It is the full intention of Husband that Wife shall receive as alimony and as a property settlement from him or his Estate the sum of Five Thousand and NO/100 Dollars, ($5,000.00), for each and every month hereafter until her death. Wife understands and agrees the aforesaid monthly payment of $5,000.00 shall be the only claim she shall have against the estate of the Husband and that by her acceptance thereof and agreement hereto Wife expressly waives any and all further claims to Husband's Estate.

 That incident to the further support of Wife, she shall be granted an employment contract with East Ford, Inc., for public relations and other services to be performed by Wife, whereupon her salary shall be One Thousand and NO/100 Dollars ($1,000.00), per month, and Wife shall remain on all profit sharing and/or insurance benefit plants for medical, life or other insurance available to other employees, and all of the premiums therefor shall be paid by East Ford, Inc.; . . . That the obligations of East Ford, Inc. shall be guaranteed by Husband by his signature to this Agreement, and in the event of any sale of said dealership or any change of the ownership thereof, this shall be a contractual agreement between East Ford, Inc. and Wife, and same shall be fully guaranteed as to terms and performance by Husband personally. That upon remarriage of Wife, the said vehicle which she is then operating shall become her property and the agreements contained in this paragraph shall thereupon cease, including the right to payment of the sum of One Thousand and NO/100

 Dollars, ($1,000.00), per month, . . .

 * * * * *

 That Husband, realizing the effects of inflation on the purchasing power of the aforesaid salary agreement, agrees that after two (2) years from the date of the first payment under this salary agreement, that the salary shall be raised at the rate of three per cent (3%) per annum. Wife understands and agrees that her annual income from East Ford, Inc., shall be as follows: First Year - $12,000 per year; Second Year - $12,000 per year; Third Year - $12,360 per year; Fourth Year - $12,730.08 per year; Fifth Year - $13,112.72 per year, etc. . . ., said salary being paid ...


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