Before Thomas, P.j., Coleman, And Hinkebein, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas, P.j., For The Court:
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/17/1997
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DENNIS M. BAKER
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: GRENADA COUNTY CHANCERY COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: INCREASE MONTHLY CHILD SUPPORT FROM $250 TO $500 PER MONTH; PAY $100 PER MONTH FOR PREVIOUS MEDICAL EXPENSES; AWARDED $1,320 IN ATTORNEY'S FEES
¶1. This appeal arises from a judgment of the Grenada County Chancery Court in which a previous divorce decree was modified to reflect the following: (1) that Michael Ronnie Havens, the father, increase his child support for the minor children from $250 per month to $500 per month, being the sum of $250 per child, (2) that Havens maintain for the said minor children a medical plan or medical insurance policy, (3) that Havens pay $908.72 for previous medical expenses incurred for the said minor children, (4) that Havens pay $50 per month on outstanding dental and orthodontic bills until his portion is paid in full, and (5) that Havens pay one-half of the court costs in this cause within 30 days hereof, and (6) that Havens shall pay to Virginia Litton (Havens) Broocks an attorney's fee of $1320 to be paid at $100 per month until said $1320 is paid in full. Havens appeals on the following assignments of error:
I. THE CHANCELLOR COMMITTED MANIFEST ERROR IN AWARDING AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT TO BE PAID AS CHILD SUPPORT.
II. THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY FEES TO APPELLEE.
Finding no error, we affirm.
¶2. Michael Ronnie Havens and Virginia Litton (Havens) Broocks were married in 1976. Two children were born to their marriage: Jennifer Havens on October 24, 1980 and Bridget Havens on January 11, 1982. The Havens were granted a divorce on May 11, 1984. From that divorce the following agreement was executed: (1) that the paramount custody of the two minor children is awarded to Virginia Havens, (2) that Mrs. Havens is awarded exclusive use and benefit of the home, (3) that Mr. Havens shall maintain a medical plan or medical insurance policy for the minor children and that medical expenses not covered by the said plan will be shared equally between the parties, and (4) that Mr. Havens shall pay child support in the amount of $250 per month payable weekly at $57.70 per week.
¶3. Mrs. Havens, now Mrs. Broocks upon a remarriage, filed a petition to modify decree of divorce and for judgment for past due support on March 28, 1997. In her petition Broocks maintained that the original award of $250 in child support was insufficient, given the additional cost of living which accompanies the support of children as they grow older. Additionally, Broocks argued that substantial dental and orthodontic expenses as well as additional medical expenses had been incurred and will continue to be incurred and that Havens is responsible for his portion of the expenses as stated in the May 11, 1984 divorce decree.
¶4. The petition was heard on September 25, 1997 in the Chancery Court of Grenada County before Judge Dennis M. Baker. From that hearing, together with the testimony and evidence produced, the following judgment was entered on November 17, 1997: (1) that Michael Ronnie Havens, the father, increase his child support for the minor children from $250 per month to $500 per month, being the sum of $250 per child, (2) that Havens continue to maintain for the said minor children a medical plan or medical insurance policy, (3) that Havens pay $908.72 to Broocks for previous medical expenses incurred for the said minor children for which he was legally obligated, (4) that Havens pay one-half of the court costs in this cause within 30 days hereof, (5) that Havens pay $50 per month on ...