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[T] Kozam v. Kozam

July 21, 1998

MAKRAM (MACK) KOZAM, APPELLANT
v.
DIANNE MILAM KOZAM, APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j., For The Court:

Kozam v. Kozam, 96-CA-00586-COA

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/30/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. TIMOTHY E. ERVIN

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: ALCORN COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: LUMP SUM ALIMONY AWARDED AND ONE PF APPELLANT'S BUSINESSES VESTED IN APPELLEE

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

The Chancery Court of Alcorn County, Mississippi, granted Diane Kozam a divorce from Makram (Mack) Kozam on grounds of irreconcilable differences on February 16, 1996. Aggrieved by certain aspects of the chancellor's ruling, Mack appeals on the following grounds: 1) that the court erred in awarding lump-sum alimony and 2) that the court erred in awarding non-marital assets acquired through an inheritance. Finding no merit to the issues raised, we affirm.

FACTS

Mack and Dianne Kozam were married on May 2, 1985. During the marriage, two daughters were born, Samna Melena and Kamillah Elizabeth. The parties separated on or about August 26, 1995, and Dianne filed her complaint for divorce on October 27, 1995, on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment or, in the alternative, irreconcilable differences. Mack answered the complaint and cross-claimed on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment and adultery or, in the alternative, irreconcilable differences. On March 19, 1996, the parties entered into a § consent to divorce pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. 93-5-2. In addition, the parties agreed that the chancellor would adjudicate the issues of property rights and child custody.

On April 30, 1996, the chancellor entered a judgment granting the parties a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences. The chancellor ordered that custody be awarded to Dianne subject to reasonable visitation rights to Mack. Mack was ordered to pay child support in the sum of $175 per month, and title to the marital home was to be divested from Mack to Dianne for the use and benefit of herself and the children. Additionally, title to R & R Salvage Store was ordered to be divested from Mack to Dianne, and Mack was ordered to pay lump-sum alimony in the amount of $18,000 bearing an interest rate of 8% per annum and subject to a judicial lien. Mack retained all other properties. Other personal property not disputed in this appeal was also divided among the parties by the chancellor. Feeling aggrieved, Mack has perfected this appeal.

ARGUMENT AND DISCUSSION OF LAW

I. WHETHER THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN AWARDING LUMP-SUM ALIMONY.

Mack argues on appeal that the court was manifestly in error by ordering him to pay lump-sum alimony beyond his means. We disagree. Our scope of review in domestic relations matters is limited. We are without authority to disturb the chancellor's decision unless we can determine that there has been a manifest abuse of discretion or an erroneous application of the relevant law. Ethridge v. Ethridge , 648 So. 2d 1143, 1145-46 (Miss. 1995). This is particularly true "in the areas of divorce and child support." Nichols v. Tedder , 547 So. 2d 766, 781 (Miss. 1989). We are not called upon or permitted to substitute our collective judgment for that of the chancellor. Richardson v. Riley , 355 So. 2d 667, 668-69 (Miss. 1978). A conclusion that we might have decided the case differently, standing alone, is not a basis to disturb the result. Id.

In the case sub judice , the chancellor awarded Dianne the sum of $18,000 as lump-sum alimony. A judicial lien was imposed against all other properties retained by Mack to secure payment and included the following properties:

1. 1204 Cruise St., Corinth, MS

2. 1202 Ross St., Corinth, MS

3. 1103 Waldron St., ...


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