COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: JACKSON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/22/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAYE A. BRADLEY. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: PETITION FOR CONTEMPT DENIED.
FOR APPELLANT: WAYNE L. HENGEN.
FOR APPELLEE: HENRY BERNARD ZUBER III.
BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE AND CARLTON, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P. JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
¶1. Adella Jones appeals the Jackson County Chancery Court's final judgment finding no willful or intentional contempt by her ex-husband, Joe Bryant, regarding the payment of Joe's military retirement benefits to Adella. Adella claims that the chancellor erred by: (1) failing to find Joe in contempt of the property-settlement agreement included in Joe and Adella's final judgment of divorce and (2) failing to award attorney's fees to Adella.
¶2. On April 3, 2001, the Jackson County Chancery Court granted Joe and Adella a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences. The final judgment of divorce included a property-settlement agreement, which provided:
[Adella] will receive as property settlement[ ] fifty percent (50%) of [Joe's] disposable retirement from the United States Marine Corps/Army National Guard and fifty percent [50%] of [Joe's] disposable retirement from the Veterans Administration which will be paid directly to [Adella] by the United States Marine Corps/Army National Guard and the Veterans Administration.
¶3. Joe retired from the Veterans Administration on November 1, 2008, and the military on June 30, 2010. Joe began receiving one hundred percent of his retirement from the Marine Corps/Army National Guard, as well as one hundred percent of his retirement from the Veterans Administration. Joe claims that he executed and turned in paperwork and applications pursuant to all military rules and regulations for his benefits and also for Adella to receive her one-half of his benefits. Adella claims that Joe never delivered fifty percent of his retirement from either service to her; instead, he kept the full amount.
¶4. Adella claims that she obtained applications and filed for her portion of both the Marine Corps/Army National Guard and Veterans Administration retirements in October 2010, unaware of whether or not Joe had retired. She began receiving her portion of Joe's retirement pay from the Marine Corps/Army National Guard in January 2011, and from ...