Before McMILLIN, P.j., Coleman, And Payne, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMILLIN, P.j.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/26/97
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM JOSEPH LUTZ
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MADISON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DIVORCE; 50% OF FAIR MARKET VALUE OF ALL MARITAL ASSETS; ALIMONY; ATTORNEY FEES
¶1. In this appeal, Edward Long asks this Court to review various aspects of the chancellor's decision regarding financial matters in the dissolution of his twenty-eight year marriage to Kathryn Long. Dr. Long urges that the chancellor abused his discretion when he failed to give due weight to certain factors adversely affecting his future ability to generate income. He also argues that, when viewed in the aggregate, the chancellor's financial awards to Mrs. Long were so unduly generous as to constitute a manifest abuse of discretion. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the chancellor.
¶2. Dr. and Mrs. Long were married December 1966 in Iowa and relocated shortly thereafter to Mississippi, where Dr. Long began an apparently successful career as a chiropractor. Mrs. Long worked in Dr. Long's clinic from time to time in various capacities, but was not otherwise employed outside the home. She involved herself in the day-to-day activities of raising three children, all of whom were emancipated at the time this proceeding was begun.
¶3. Mrs. Long filed for divorce in 1994 and was granted a judgment of divorce in 1995 on the ground of uncondoned adultery. The chancellor, after enlisting the assistance of an outside expert to appraise the various marital assets, determined the total value of the marital property to be $591,235, subject only to an outstanding bank indebtedness of $101,000. The chancellor suggested that the facts warranted an equal division of the marital property and proceeded to set out to Mrs. Long property having a value of $295,617.50. He reduced that share, however, by $50,500, representing one-half of the bank indebtedness. He ordered Dr. Long to pay the entire bank debt. Thus, the actual net distribution of marital assets to Mrs. Long was $245,117.50, which was accomplished by giving her an automobile valued at $15,000, crediting Dr. Long with a $20,000 advance paid under a temporary features order, giving Mrs. Long sole title to the home and contents having a combined value of $132,465, and ordering Dr. Long to pay an additional sum of $77,652.50, to be paid in installments with interest.
¶4. In addition to this division of marital assets, the chancellor ordered Dr. Long to pay lump sum alimony in the amount of $20,000 and awarded Mrs. Long periodic alimony in the amount of $2,000 per month. Mrs. Long had testified that her anticipated normal monthly expenses were $3,123 per month, a figure which the chancellor specifically found to be reasonable.
¶5. Dr. Long has appealed. He does not attack the granting of the divorce itself, but confines himself to an attack on the various financial awards given to Mrs. ...