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Roberts v. Roberts

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 1, 2014

CHRISTOPHER ROBERTS, APPELLANT
v.
YOLANDA ROBERTS, APPELLEE

Page 936

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/02/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. SANFORD R. STECKLER. TRIAL COURT JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE ENTERED; PROPERTY DIVIDED.

FOR APPELLANT: KELLY MICHAEL RAYBURN.

FOR APPELLEE: WILLIAM E. TISDALE.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., ROBERTS, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 937

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

JAMES, J.

¶1. The Harrison County Chancery Court granted Yolanda Roberts a fault-based divorce from Christopher Roberts on the grounds of uncondoned adultery. The chancellor made an equitable division of the marital property and awarded Yolanda $500 per month in periodic alimony. Christopher appeals the judgment, raising the following issues:

I. The chancellor erred in awarding Yolanda Roberts the sum of $50,000.00 with 8% interest from Christopher Roberts, representing one-half of the funds used by Mr. Roberts to start a business, and erred in awarding Yolanda Roberts the sum of $18, 877.83, representing one-half of the Christopher Robert's E-Trade account, and awarding her the sum of $1,100.00, representing one-half of the IRA Franklin Money Account.
II. The [c]hancellor erred in awarding Yolanda Roberts [periodic] alimony in the amount of $500.00 per month when Christopher Roberts was unemployed, among other factors.
III. The [c]hancellor erred in finding Christopher Roberts in contempt and ordering him to pay $1,852.85 to Yolanda Roberts for their son's college living expenses, [and] by not considering payments made by Christopher Roberts directly to the child for this purpose.

Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the chancery court.

FACTS

¶2. Christopher and Yolanda were married on April 23, 1985, and separated

Page 938

on August 14, 2007. Two children were born of the marriage, Price J. Roberts, born December 27, 1987, and Lauren R. Roberts, born February 3, 1988.

¶3. During the marriage, Christopher was employed as an off-shore installation manager and certified diver with Phoenix International. Christopher was also involved in an informal partnership with his friend, Mark Drake, in which they bought, renovated, and resold houses. This partnership venture was created upon Christopher and Drake each contributing $100,000. Yolanda worked as a part-time PRN nurse. On January 24, 2008, Yolanda filed her complaint for divorce on the ground of uncondoned adultery. On May 2, 2008, an agreed temporary judgment was entered into by the parties. The agreed temporary order provided, in part, as follows: the parties were each to pay one-half of the college room, board, and tuition for their son, Price; Yolanda was awarded temporary use and possession of the marital residence located in Gulfport, Mississippi, including all household goods, appliances, furniture, and fixtures; and Christopher was to pay temporary spousal support to Yolanda of $1,000 per month, beginning March 25, 2008, and continuing until further order of the court.

¶4. On October 1, 2008, the chancellor entered a judgment of divorce on the ground of uncondoned adultery, reserving jurisdiction over the parties in order to hear and rule on all other matters at a later date.

¶5. Yolanda filed a complaint for contempt on September 23, 2009, alleging that Christopher had failed to comply with the May 2, 2008 agreed temporary judgment. A trial regarding the remaining issues of equitable division of marital property and contempt was held August 13, 2009, January 28, 2010, May 19, 2010, September 9, 2010, and February 28, 2011.

¶6. On February 28, 2011, Christopher filed a motion to terminate temporary spousal-support payments. In support of his motion, Christopher attached a letter from Phoenix International showing that his employment position was terminated on October 19, 2010. By order entered March 2, 2011, all temporary spousal-support payments were abated until the entry of a final judgment. On March 2, 2012, the chancellor entered a final judgment in which he made a final ruling on all outstanding issues, including the division of marital property, award of alimony, and Yolanda's motion for contempt.

¶7. The chancellor found Christopher in contempt for his failure to pay his portion of Price's reasonable living expenses for the months of March, April, and May 2009, and ordered Christopher to pay Yolanda $1,852.85.[1] The chancellor made a determination of marital and nonmarital property and equitably divided the marital property. As to real property, Yolanda was awarded the marital home located in Gulfport. The marital home was appraised at $120,000. At the time of the trial, Christopher ...


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