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BOBBY G. RAKESTRAW v. DIANNE C. RAKESTRAW (WHEELER)

APRIL 26, 1989

BOBBY G. RAKESTRAW
v.
DIANNE C. RAKESTRAW (WHEELER)



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, PRATHER and BLASS

ROY NOBLE LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Bobby G. Rakestraw has appealed from a judgment entered in the Chancery Court of Pontotoc County involving custody rights of two children of the parties, support for them, and money judgment in favor of Dianne C. Rakestraw, who was granted a divorce on the ground of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. Rakestraw assigns the following errors in the trial below:

I.

 THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN FAILING TO GIVE BOBBY REASONABLE VISITATION RIGHTS.

 THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN REFUSING TO SET ASIDE THE EX PARTE JUDGMENT.

 III.

 THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT REDUCING BACK CHILD SUPPORT FROM THE TIME DIANNE ABSCONDED WITH THE CHILDREN TO NORTH CAROLINA, AND FOR THE TIME DURING WHICH SHE DELIBERATELY DISOBEYED THE ORIGINAL DECREE BY REFUSING TO PERMIT VISITATION.

 IV.

 THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN REFUSING TO HOLD DIANNE IN CONTEMPT FOR HER VIOLATION OF THE 1986 TEMPORARY DECREE.

 The parties married on June 3, 1972, in Union County, Mississippi, and cohabited as husband and wife until February 11, 1983. Born to the marriage were Christopher Aaron Rakestraw, January 7, 1979, and Patrick Glen Rakestraw, August 12, 1980. The suit for divorce was filed February 22, 1983, on the ground of habitual drunkenness and, in the alternative, irreconcilable differences.

 In February, 1983, appellant admitted himself to The Pines, an alchohol rehabilitation center in Lowndes County. During that period, he was personally served with process on appellee's complaint for divorce. Following his confinement at The Pines and prior to any court order, appellant seized the two children on June 3, 1983, and absconded from the State of Mississippi. Five days after the appellant fled with the children, the chancellor granted appellee temporary relief, including custody of the children, and, on June 21, 1983, entered a writ of assistance in favor of Anne directing Bobby to turn the children over to the mother. Appellant was able to evade apprehension for a period of seventeen (17) months and, during

 that period of time, travelled and resided in approximately seven (7) states. A chronology of the court proceedings follows:

 (1) Petition for divorce filed - February 22, 1983

 (2) Personal service over Bobby - ...


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