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Sootin v. Sootin

December 30, 1998

LEON SOOTIN APPELLANT
v.
KAREN SOOTIN APPELLEE



Before Thomas, P.j., Coleman, And Hinkebein, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hinkebein, J., For The Court:

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/21/1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JASON H. FLOYD JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: HUSBAND AWARDED DIVORCE ON GROUNDS OF ADULTERY; CUSTODY OF ONE CHILD AWARDED TO HUSBAND, AND CUSTODY OF ONE CHILD TO WIFE; WIFE AWARDED PERIODIC ALIMONY; WIFE AWARDED THIRTY PERCENT OF HUSBAND'S 401K RETIREMENT ACCOUNT.

¶1. The Chancery Court of Harrison County granted Leon Sootin (Leon) a divorce from Karen Sootin (Karen) on the grounds of her adultery. The chancellor initially granted custody of the couple's two daughters to Leon and ordered Karen to pay $240 per month in child support. While denying Karen's request for lump sum alimony, the chancellor awarded her periodic alimony of $750 per month, thirty percent of Leon's 401K retirement plan, and $4500 in attorney fees. Pursuant to a motion to reconsider by Karen's attorney, the chancellor amended his earlier findings and opinion and granted Karen custody of the younger daughter and ordered Leon to pay $500 per month in child support. Aggrieved by the chancellor's decision, Leon raises the following assignments of error:

I. THE CHANCERY COURT ERRED IN AMENDING ITS FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND OPINION WITHOUT EXPLANATION, AND IN ENTERING ITS JUDGMENT WITHOUT HEARINGS ON PENDING MOTIONS TO REOPEN TESTIMONY AND TO RECONSIDER.

II. THE CHANCERY COURT ERRED IN AWARDING PERIODIC ALIMONY TO KAREN SOOTIN.

III. THE CHANCERY COURT ERRED IN AWARDING CUSTODY OF ARYN SOOTIN TO KAREN SOOTIN.

IV. THE CHANCERY COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO ALLOW THE TESTIMONY OF DR. VIRGINIA DEROMA.

V. THE CHANCERY COURT ERRED IN NEGLECTING TO ADDRESS THE PAYMENT OF DEBTS, OR THE DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS IN ITS RULING, AND IN AWARDING KAREN SOOTIN THIRTY PERCENT OF LEON SOOTIN'S 401K.

VI. THE CHANCERY COURT ERRED IN AWARDING KAREN SOOTIN ATTORNEY'S FEES IN THE SUM OF $4,500.

ΒΆ2. Finding merit to Leon's third assignment of error regarding custody, we reverse and remand for findings ...


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