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Thames v. Thames

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 28, 2015

DEBRA THAMES, APPELLANT
v.
CHRISTOPHER THAMES, SR., APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DAN H. FAIRLY. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: GRANTED AN IRRECONCILABLE-DIFFERENCES DIVORCE AND AWARDED, JOINT PHYSICAL AND LEGAL CUSTODYOF THE PARTIES' MINOR CHILD.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

FOR APPELLANT: TAMEKIA ROCHELLE GOLIDAY.

FOR APPELLEE: TRACY STIDHAM STEEN.

LEE, C.J., FOR THE COURT. IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. WILSON, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 1265

EN BANC

LEE, C.J.

[¶1] This appeal arises from an initial custody determination. Finding the custody arrangement to be impractical, we reverse the judgment of the Rankin County Chancery Court and remand the case for further proceedings as discussed below.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶2] Debra Thames and Christopher Thames Sr. were married on May 10, 2008. On January 24, 2012, their daughter, Sofia Ocie Thames, was born. The Thameses lived together as a family in Brandon, Mississippi, until January 30, 2013, when Debra moved to San Antonio, Texas, taking their daughter with her.

[¶3] On February 15, 2013, Christopher filed for divorce alleging two fault-based grounds or otherwise asking the Rankin County Chancery Court to grant an irreconcilable-differences divorce. On May 2, 2013, a temporary hearing was held. A temporary order resulting therefrom was entered nunc pro tunc on December 12, 2013. The temporary order awarded Debra physical and legal custody of Sofia and awarded Christopher alternating monthly visitation.

[¶4] On September 16, 2013, the day of the final hearing, the parties filed a joint motion and consent to trial and divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences, and agreed to submit to the chancellor the issues of physical and legal custody of Sofia, visitation rights of the non-custodial parent, and child support. This joint motion was granted the same day. At the final hearing, the chancellor conducted an Albright [1] analysis, finding the factors weighed equally for both parents. A final judgment was entered on January 10, 2014, granting the parties joint legal and physical custody, with physical custody to alternate back and forth between the parents on a monthly basis until Sofia starts five-year-old kindergarten.

[¶5] Debra now appeals, asserting that (1) the chancellor erred in failing to administer complete relief as to every portion of the controversy, and (2) the ...


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