Before Pittman, P.j., Smith And Mills, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pittman, Presiding Justice
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/19/97
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM H. MYERS
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: GREENE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
¶1. On July 19, 1996 Patsy Rounsaville ("Patsy") and Bill Rounsaville ("Bill") appeared before the Chancery Court of Greene County in a divorce proceeding. On that date, the chancery court entered an Agreed Judgment of Divorce between the parties on the ground of irreconcilable differences. The Agreed Judgment of Divorce provided that:
"The parties hereto, Patsy Clark Rounsaville and Bill Rush Rounsaville, are entitled to and hereby are awarded a divorce absolute each from the other on the statutory grounds of irreconcilable differences."
"The parties hereto and their counsel have agreed that matters of permanent custody, support and visitation of the minor child of the parties and division and distribution of the marital property of the parties is hereby reserved to determine whether the parties are able to make an agreed settlement and division of these matters and the parties are given thirty (30) days in which to do so. Should the parties not be able to reach an agreement concerning all remaining issues herein within thirty (30) days from the hearing hereof, then either party may petition the Court to resolve all remaining issues."
¶2. The Agreed Judgment of Divorce further provided that temporary custody of the child of the parties would be vested in Patsy. A visitation schedule was provided for Bill. It further provided that Bill would pay $125.00 per week in child support. Patsy retained temporary possession of the marital home. Both Patsy and Bill were represented by counsel in the chancery court, and both signed the Agreed Judgment of Divorce.
¶3. Thereafter on September 20, 1996, the parties entered into a Child Custody, Support, and Property Settlement Agreement. This agreement made certain provisions for the care, custody, and support of the child of the parties. It also provided for division of the property owned by the parties and accumulated during the marriage. On the same day the parties entered into the Child Custody, Support and Property Settlement Agreement, the Chancellor entered a Final Judgment approving the agreement. Again, the parties were represented by counsel and signed the Final Judgment.
¶4. On February 21, 1997, Patsy remarried. On April 10, 1997, Bill filed a Notice of Withdrawal of Agreement to Property Settlement and Motion to Set Aside Judgment of Divorce and Child Custody, Support and Property Settlement Agreement or in the Alternative to Modify Child Support to Comply with Support Guidelines. Bill argued that at the time of the entry of the Agreed Judgment of Divorce, the parties had not entered into an agreement concerning child support and property rights of the parties, and that therefore the parties had not complied with the statutory requirements of Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-2 (1994), rendering the divorce null and void. Bill also asserted that the amount of child support exceeded the statutory guidelines and should be amended.
¶5. Patsy filed an Answer to Bill's Notice of Withdrawal of Agreement on April 29, 1997. On September 19, 1997, the Chancellor denied Bill's Motion to Set Aside the divorce and for modification of child support. Bill appeals from this Order alleges the following errors:
I. THE COURT ERRED IN GRANTING A DIVORCE ON THE GROUND OF IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES BECAUSE THE PARTIES HAD NOT ENTERED INTO A PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT NOR HAD THE COURT ADJUDICATED THE ISSUES BETWEEN THEM WHEN IT ENTERED THE JUDGMENT OF ...