KEVIN B. McCALL APPELLANT
CYNTHIA C. McCALL APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 07/26/2017
WALTHALL COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, HON. DEBBRA K. HALFORD JUDGE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: CHAD KENNETH KING MATTHEW THOMPSON
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: MARK R. HOLMES ALTON LAMAR WATTS
In 2014, Cynthia and Kevin McCall were divorced on the ground
of irreconcilable differences. Their property-settlement
agreement required Kevin to pay $3, 500 per month in child
support and required Kevin to make an additional lump-sum
child-support payment of $100, 000.
In October 2016, Kevin filed for modification of his
child-support obligation. The chancellor determined that
Kevin was in arrears on his child-support obligation in the
sum of $198, 205.82. Cynthia responded to the motion and
filed a counterclaim, asking the court to find Kevin in
contempt for his failure to pay his child-support obligation.
The chancellor denied the modification and found Kevin in
contempt of court. The chancellor entered a judgment that
increased Kevin's monthly obligation by $1, 000 and
awarded Cynthia attorney's fees. It is from this judgment
that Kevin now appeals.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Kevin and Cynthia McCall were married for thirteen years.
They had two children born of the marriage.
In April 2014, the McCalls were granted a divorce on the
ground of irreconcilable differences. The McCalls agreed
upon, and the chancellor accepted, a property-settlement
agreement that was signed by both parties. In the agreement,
Kevin and Cynthia agreed that Cynthia would have full legal
and physical custody of the children. The agreement also
provided that Kevin would pay child support in monthly
payments of $3, 500 and a lump-sum payment of $100, 000, due
on May 15, 2014.
On June 11, 2014, Cynthia filed a Petition for Citation for
Criminal and Civil Contempt. In the petition, Cynthia
alleged, among other claims, that Kevin McCall had failed to
pay the lump sum child support payment of $100, 000 by May
15, 2014, as agreed.
On August 6, 2014, Kevin filed a Response to Petition for
Citation for Contempt and Counter-Petition for Modification
of Judgment of Divorce and/or Relief from Judgment under
Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). The chancellor
entered an order, dated November 7, 2014, that denied
Kevin's Petition for Relief from Judgment under
Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 60 (b). Kevin did not
file a timely appeal.
In April 2015, Kevin and Cynthia were before the court on a
contempt motion. In an agreed order, Kevin was cited for
contempt. Kevin agreed that he was in arrears on monthly
child-support payments in the sum of $21, 955 and the $100,
000 lump-sum payment.
In March 2016, Kevin filed a motion for modification of his
child-support obligation. He argued that he lost ownership of
a sawmill he owned in Texas as the basis for his
material change of circumstances. The chancellor denied the
motion and found Kevin in contempt of court. Kevin now
appeals this judgment.
In Evans v. Evans, 994 So.2d 765, 768 (¶9)
(Miss. 2008), the Mississippi Supreme Court held that
"[d]omestic-relations matters are reviewed under the
limited substantial-evidence/manifest-error rule. A
chancellor's findings will not be disturbed 'unless
the chancellor was manifestly wrong, clearly erroneous or an
erroneous legal standard was applied.'" (Citations
The review of a chancellor's decision on the modification
of child support begins with several general statements of
applicable law. In Evans, the court ruled that:
There can be no modification of a child support decree absent
a substantial and material change in the circumstances of one
of the interested parties arising subsequent to the entry of
the decree sought to be modified. The change must occur as a
result of after-arising circumstances of the parties, not
reasonably anticipated at the time of the agreement. Some of
the factors which may be considered in determining whether a
material change has taken place include:
(1) increased needs caused by advanced age and maturity of
the children; (2) increase in expenses; (3) inflation; (4)
the relative financial condition and earning capacity of the
parties; (5) the health and special needs of the child, both
physical and psychological; (6) the health and special
medical needs of the parents, both physical and
psychological; (7) the necessary living expenses of the
non-custodial parent; (8) the estimated amount of income
taxes the respective parties must pay on their incomes; (9)
the free use of a ...