Before Pittman, P.j., Smith And Mills, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, Justice
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/17/1997
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM H. MYERS
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: JACKSON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - CUSTODY
DISPOSITION: VACATED AND REMANDED - 2/25/99
MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:
¶1. Laura J. Patout filed her complaint for divorce on July 11, 1994. An order of temporary relief was entered by Chancellor Kenneth B. Robertson on August 25, 1994. Chancellor Robertson erroneously believed he was entering a final order. Therefore, he entered a corrected opinion and removed himself from the proceedings since he felt the parties might assume he was predisposed to make the same award he had erroneously entered before.
¶2. Chancellor William H. Meyers entered a final judgment on August 29, 1996, awarding a divorce to Wayne Patout based on his proof of Laura Patout's adultery. Custody of the two sons, Joshua and Jason, was awarded to Ms. Patout, and the chancellor distributed the marital property. Wayne Patout filed a Motion to Alter or Amend or for a New Trial on September 9, 1996. A property settlement agreement was signed March 14, 1997, and the chancellor entered an Amended Judgment to conform with the property settlement agreement. Aggrieved by the Chancery Court's judgment, Mr. Patout appeals assigning the following issues as error:
I. WHETHER CUSTODY OF THE TWO MINOR CHILDREN, JOSHUA AND JASON PATOUT, SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO LAURA PATOUT.
II. WHETHER THE COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO MAKE FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSION OF LAW.
¶3. The parties were married for more than ten stormy years in which divorce proceedings were commenced several times with Ms. Patout accusing Mr. Patout of cruel and inhuman treatment and Mr. Patout claiming Ms. Patout committed adultery. Mr. Patout, at age 48, had been married three times before. Ms. Patout, at age 27, came into the marriage with one daughter, Melody. By age 14, Melody had been in counseling and treatment at least twice. The marriage produced two sons: Joshua ...