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Ainsworth v. Ainsworth

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 27, 2014

DONALD NOLAN AINSWORTH, APPELLANT
v.
MELANIE REEVES AINSWORTH, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: STONE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/21/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JENNIFER T. SCHLOEGEL. TRIAL COURT GRANTED DIVORCE, DIVIDED MARITAL PROPERTY, AND ORDERED HUSBAND TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT.

FOR APPELLANT: OTTIS B. CROCKER III.

FOR APPELLEE: HAROLD O. GRISSOM JR.

BEFORE LEE, C.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. BARNES, J., CONCURS IN PART AND IN THE RESULT.

OPINION

Page 762

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

LEE, C.J.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶1. Donald and Melanie Ainsworth were married in 1991 and had two children during their marriage. Melanie filed for divorce in August 2010. After a trial in the Stone County Chancery Court, the chancellor granted the parties an irreconcilable-differences divorce. The chancellor also divided the couple's marital property, set visitation, and ordered Donald to pay child support. Donald filed a motion for reconsideration. After a hearing on the motion, the chancellor granted Donald relief in part and issued an amended final judgment of divorce. In her amended judgment, the chancellor revised the findings of facts and the legal analysis on the equitable division of the parties' marital estate.

¶2. Donald now appeals, asserting the chancellor erred: (1) in dividing the marital estate, (2) in considering other sources of his income for child-support purposes, (3) in ordering the parties to be responsible for one-half of the children's extracurricular activities, and (4) in awarding the tax exemptions for the children to Melanie. Pertinent facts will be discussed as they relate to each issue.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶3. We afford chancellors much discretion in our review of domestic-relations cases. Steiner v. Steiner, 788 So.2d 771, 777 (¶ 18) (Miss. 2001). This Court will not disturb a chancellor's findings unless they are manifestly wrong or clearly erroneous, or the chancellor applied an erroneous legal standard. Mizell v. Mizell, 708 So.2d 55, 59 (¶ 13) (Miss. 1998).

DISCUSSION

I. DIVISION OF MARITAL ESTATE

¶4. Donald contends the chancellor erred in dividing the marital estate. Donald specifically argues the chancellor inequitably divided the marital estate and mistakenly characterized her award of the marital estate to Melanie as lump-sum alimony.

¶5. First, we note the chancellor made comprehensive findings in classifying the parties' assets and in dividing the marital estate, including a detailed analysis of the factors outlined in Ferguson v. Ferguson, 639 So.2d ...


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