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Reynolds v. Reynolds

February 23, 1999

JAMES DOYCE REYNOLDS APPELLANT
v.
BILLIE JO (CURTNER) REYNOLDS APPELLEE



Before Thomas, P.j., Lee, Payne, And Southwick, JJ.

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

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 8/15/97 TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PERCY LEE LYNCHARD, JR. COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO CHANCERY

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DIVORCE GRANTED TO BILLIE JO REYNOLDS ON THE GROUNDS OF HABITUAL CRUEL AND INHUMAN TREATMENT AND UNCONDONED ADULTERY.

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 02/23/1999

PROCEDURAL POSTURE AND ISSUES PRESENTED

¶1. This case is before the Court challenging the judgment granting a divorce to the appellee, Billie Jo Curtner Reynolds, on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment and adultery, as well as the chancellor's equitable division of the marital estate. Feeling aggrieved, the appellant, James(Jim) Doyce Reynolds seeks relief from this Court alleging the following three points for our consideration: whether the court erred in granting Billie a divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, whether the chancellor erred in granting Billie a divorce on the grounds of adultery, and whether the chancellor misapplied the law in equitably dividing the marital property. After reviewing the record and applicable precedents, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. Jim Reynolds and Billie Reynolds were married on March 23, 1979, in Memphis, Tennessee. Jim is retired from the Army Corp of Engineers and Billie is a hairdresser. In 1980, Jim and Billie separated due in part to the death of Jim's eldest son from a previous marriage and the fact that Billie had an unemancipated daughter from a previous marriage with whom Jim had a strained relationship. After the separation, the couple reconciled. However, marital difficulty once again struck Jim and Billie in 1995. Billie filed a complaint for divorce on November 20, 1995. However, this complaint was dismissed on March 29, 1996, after the couple attempted to reconcile. Unfortunately, this attempt was unsuccessful, and Billie filed a complaint of divorce on July 10, 1996, seeking a dissolution of her marriage to Jim on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, and irreconcilable differences. Jim filed his response, denying the pertinent parts of Billie's complaint.

¶3. After a one day trial, the chancellor issued an order granting Billie a divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment and adultery. The chancellor found that certain marital assets were subject to equitable division as follows:

--the marital home (ordered sold and each party given 50% of proceeds)

-four rental properties in Shelby County, Tennessee (each party held to have a 25% undivided interest; Jim ordered to quitclaim Billie's interest accordingly in each property)

-5600 shares of Kroger stock (Jim and Billie each granted 2800 shares each) -300 shares of Wal Mart stock (Jim and Billie each granted 150 shares each)

Further, the chancellor found that 38% of Jim's government retirement was accumulated during the marriage. Therefore, due to Billie's contributions to the marital home, she was awarded one-half, or nineteen percent of Jim's retirement benefits. Alimony was denied, with ...


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