COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/02/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. H.J. DAVIDSON JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DIVIDED MARITAL PROPERTY AND AWARDED THE APPELLEE $250,000 IN LUMP-SUM ALIMONY.
FOR APPELLANT: MARC DARREN AMOS.
FOR APPELLEE: JAK MCGEE SMITH.
BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.
¶1. This is Billy Stephen McKissack's (Steve's) second appeal of the property distribution and alimony award to his ex-wife, Terri McKissack. In Steve's first appeal, we found the chancellor wrongly classified a $500,000 certificate of deposit
as marital property. So we remanded the case, instructing the chancellor to consider the CD as Steve's separate property and to revisit the equitable distribution and alimony award.
¶2. On remand, the chancellor did just that, assessing the marital property and awarding Terri lump-sum alimony to adjust for the resulting shortfall once the CD had been removed from the marital pot. While Steve now insists the chancellor improperly valued assets and debts using the original divorce-hearing date, instead of a later date after which Steve had acquired new debt, we disagree. In Mississippi, chancellors have discretion in setting valuation dates. And for distribution purposes, it was not error for the chancellor to value the marital estate at the time of divorce, since assets accumulated after a divorce are generally not marital property. We likewise find no error in the chancellor's handling of the division and his award of lump-sum alimony to Terri. We affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
The Property Division
A. The First Go-Round