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Devore v. Devore

December 17, 1998

DELORES MULLINS HANEY DEVORE , A/K/A DELORES DEVORE
v.
BOBBY O. DEVORE



Before Pittman, P.j., Roberts And Smith, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pittman, Presiding Justice,

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/15/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DON GRIST

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: TIPPAH COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 12/17/98

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. This case arises out of a ruling by the Tippah County Chancery Court wherein Bobby Devore was granted a divorce of the grounds of irreconcilable differences, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-2, from Delores Mullins Haney Devore.

¶2. On May 26, 1995, Bobby filed a complaint for divorce and other relief in the Chancery Court of Tippah County, Mississippi. Delores filed her pro se answer on June 22, 1995. The final divorce decree was entered March 28, 1996. The following day, Delores filed a Motion to Set Aside the Final Decree of Divorce. On April 19, 1996, there was an Order filed in response to the Petitioner's Motion to Set Aside Final Decree of Divorce on temporary issues, signed by both counsel and the court which barred either side from selling or transferring any real or personal property pending final resolution of the matter and continued the case until July 16, 1996.

¶3. On May 1, 1996, Delores filed a counter-complaint for divorce, but signed a motion to dismiss same on May 9, 1996. An agreed order to set aside final decree of divorce, signed by the court was entered on August 7, 1996.

¶4. A consent to divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences was filed in the Tippah County Chancery Court on November 7, 1996. In that consent, both parties agreed to withdraw and dismiss all other grounds alleged in the complaint, the counter-complaint and to withdraw any answers as related to the grounds for divorce leaving before the court only the divorce on irreconcilable differences and the issue of the division of real estate, including a house and ten acres of land.

¶5. In his ruling the chancellor found that the house and the adjoining ten (10) acres of land was non-marital property reasoning that the property was acquired by Bobby approximately thirty (30) years before his year long marriage to Delores. The chancellor further found that Delores should be divested of any title she had obtained in the property in the last year and title should be vested solely in Bobby.

¶6. In making his ruling, the chancellor found that he must consider "the facts that the defendant during the period of the marriage took care of, nurtured, watched after the plaintiff during one of his hip operations, or knee operations, when in fact prior to the marriage she took care of him for an operation during the time - - prior to the marriage." The chancellor further reasoned that "[t]he real property was acquired by the plaintiff some 30 odd years ago at which time he was married to his first wife. The deed was made, transferring the [one half] interest in the property from the plaintiff to the defendant for a period of approximately a month to three months at best when the parties finally separated. The defendant made no contribution toward the purchase of this property."

¶7. Feeling aggrieved by the decision of the Tippah County Chancery Court, Delores timely filed her appeal with this Court citing the following issue on appeal:

WHETHER THE CHANCELLOR COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN DIVESTING DELORES MULLINS HANEY DEVORE OF HER INTEREST IN THE PARTIES JOINTLY OWNED MARITAL RESIDENCE, AND HER INTEREST IN APPROXIMATELY TEN ACRES OF JOINTLY OWNED LAND, ALL OF WHICH WAS DEEDED TO HER BY BOBBY O. DEVORE, WHEN THE CHANCELLOR FOUND THAT SAID HOME AND LAND WAS NON-MARITAL PROPERTY.

Standard of Review

¶8. This Court's scope of review is limited in appeals from the Chancery Court. A chancellor's decision will not be reversed if the finding of fact is supported by substantial credible evidence in the record. Hammett v. Woods, 602 So.2d 825, 827 (Miss. 1992) (citing Clark v. Myrick, 523 So.2d 79, 80 (Miss. 1988)). "This Court will not disturb those findings, unless manifestly wrong, clearly erroneous, or an erroneous legal standard was applied." Faries v. ...


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