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BILLY DOYLE ALEXANDER v. PATRICIA ALEXANDER

SEPTEMBER 17, 1986

BILLY DOYLE ALEXANDER
v.
PATRICIA ALEXANDER



BEFORE WALKER, C.J., SULLIVAN, AND ANDERSON, JJ.

SULLIVAN, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

As a result of their divorce in November of 1981, Patricia Alexander received custody of their teenage son.

Billy Alexander was ordered to pay her $50.00 a month alimony and $200.00 a month child support. As a part of their agreement Patricia Alexander conveyed her interest in their home and 1200 acres of land to Billy Alexander for the sum of $48,000.00. This money was to be paid to her at the rate of $400.00 per month and if Billy Alexander was financially able to do so, every fall he was to pay an additional $2,500.00 to $3,000.00 on this indebtedness to Patricia Alexander.

 Billy Alexander was also to pay premiums on two life insurance policies. One $20,000.00 policy was payable to Patricia Alexander as the named beneficiary. The other policy was for $100,000.00 and Patricia Alexander was the beneficiary to $50,000.00 of that amount and the two children of the parties were the beneficiaries to the remaining $50,000.00.

 Their son lived with his mother from the time of the divorce until March 1, 1982, when he moved in with his father. Billy Alexander paid Patricia Alexander $200.00 per month through March of 1982. Thereafter he paid the child support money directly to his son.

 Billy Alexander cashed in the two whole life insurance policies and replaced them with a million dollar term policy that still provided $70,000.00 to Patricia Alexander as a named beneficiary.

 Patricia Alexander filed a Petition for Citation of Contempt against Billy Alexander for his failure to pay her $200.00 per month child support since April, 1982, for cashing in the two insurance policies, and for failing to make the additional fall land payments to her. By way of relief her claim sought a money judgment for the face value of the policies, or in the alternative that substitute insurance would be purchased; a $1,000.00 per month payment at 12 percent interest on the land purchase money agreement; and an increase in alimony from $50.00 per month to $500.00.

 Billy Alexander answered denying that he had failed to comply with the divorce decree and agreement and seeking modification of that decree to grant him custody of the teenage son of the parties.

 The chancellor granted custody to Billy Alexander and denied an alimony increase to Patricia Alexander. The chancellor also terminated further child support payments from Billy Alexander to Patricia Alexander

 effective January 1, 1984. The chancellor denied an increase in alimony to Patricia Alexander. Billy Alexander was found to be in civil contempt for failure to pay child support for 20 months in the total amount of $4,000.00 plus interest and further, for canceling the insurance. The chancellor ordered Billy Alexander to pay $4,000.00 plus interest and purchase a $70,000.00 life insurance policy with Patricia Alexander as the named beneficiary. The chancellor found Billy Alexander financially unable to pay the $2,500.00 to $3,000.00 annual lump sum payment on the land and denied relief in that regard. However, because of the financial circumstances of Billy Alexander the chancellor, to insure the payment of the back child support and the remaining balance of the purchase money indebtedness in the original amount of $48,000.00 on the land, impressed a lien upon Billy Alexander's property.

 Billy Alexander sought to appeal with supersedeas and Patricia Alexander asked for a bond of $111,200.00 which represented $37,200.00 owed on the land, $4,000.00 in back child support, and $70,000.00 which was her interest in the insurance. The chancellor, however, set the supersedeas bond at $6,000.00.

 I.

 WAS IT ERROR TO GRANT A $4,000.00 AWARD PLUS INTEREST FOR BACK CHILD SUPPORT WITHOUT ALLOWING ANY CREDIT FOR THE TIME DURING WHICH THE MINOR LIVED WITH HIS FATHER?

 The chancellor relied upon Rubisoff v. Rubisoff, 242 Miss. 225, 133 So. 2d 534 (1961), Rainwater v. Rainwater, 236 Miss. 412, 110 So. 2d 608 (1959), and Chandler v. Chandler, 222 Miss. 759, 77 So.2d 255 (1955), in awarding the back child ...


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