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Wilson v. Stewart

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 9, 2014

JACK H. WILSON, JR., APPELLANT
v.
JOY ELIZABETH STEWART, APPELLEE

Page 523

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/13/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON.J. DEWAYNE THOMAS. COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: APPELLEE FOUND IN CONTEMPT AND ORDERED TO PAY APPELLANT'S ATTORNEY'S FEES AND CHILDSUPPORT ARREARAGES WITH INTEREST.

AFFIRMED.

FOR APPELLANT: MICHAEL J. MALOUF, MELISSA A. MALOUF, ROBERT EUGENE JONES II.

FOR APPELLEE: JENNIFER LEIGH BOYDSTON.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. GRIFFIS, P. J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 524

FAIR, J.

[¶1] On June 13, 2012, the Chancery Court of Hinds County ruled that Jack Wilson (Jay) owed his ex-wife, Joy Stewart, $197,802.74 in past-due child support and attorney's fees. The court also found Jay was in willful contempt of court. And he ordered Jay to pay the master appointed in the case $2,830. Jay appeals, claiming the chancellor erred in: (1) calculating Jay's monthly child-support obligation, (2) ruling on Joy's petition for contempt, (3) finding Jay in willful contempt, (4) ordering Jay to continue paying college expenses, (5) ordering Jay to pay Joy's attorney's fees and a majority of the master's fees. Finding no error, we affirm the decision of the chancellor.

FACTS

[¶2] Jay and Joy divorced in 2003. They have three children -- Madison, Anabel, and Henley. In the original divorce decree, Joy received sole physical custody of the three children, and Jay agreed to pay $1,700 a month in child support. Jay also agreed to pay the children's private-school tuition, college expenses, half the costs of extracurricular activities, and half of any uncovered health bills, and he agreed to provide the children with health and hospitalization insurance.

[¶3] As of December 14, 2004, Jay was found in contempt of court for failing to pay $9,052 in spousal support and child support. On March 7, 2005, Jay and Joy entered into an agreed order modifying their judgment of divorce. The agreement stated that Jay would pay arrearages in the amount of $9,052, plus attorney's fees of $1,000, in two separate, equally divided installments. The first installment was due on March 1, 2005, and the second installment was due on April 1, 2005. The agreement further provided for an agreed reduction of his child-support obligation to $800 per month. Paragraph 11 of the agreement specifically provided:

The parties recognize that Jay's agreement to timely pay the lesser amounts of child support and noted arrearages is the essence of Joy's willingness to agree to a downward modification of child support . . . . [S]hould Jay fail to timely pay either or both installments of back child support, . . . he shall be in intentional, contumacious contempt of court, . . .

Page 525

[and] the modification of child support shall be ...

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