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Blevins v. Wiggins

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 5, 2019

AMY WIGGINS BLEVINS APPELLANT
v.
MONTY ALLEN WIGGINS APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/23/2017

          JACKSON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON. D. NEIL HARRIS SR. JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: G. CHARLES BORDIS IV

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: CALVIN D. TAYLOR

          BEFORE CARLTON, P.J., WESTBROOKS AND C. WILSON, JJ.

          C. WILSON, J.

         ¶1. Amy Wiggins Blevins and Monty Allen Wiggins filed a joint complaint for divorce on November 8, 2006. On May 25, 2007, the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi, entered a final judgment of divorce upon the statutory ground of irreconcilable differences. On October 12, 2011, Amy filed a complaint for modification to modify Monty's child support obligation. The chancery court entered an agreed order on March 8, 2012, increasing Monty's child support obligation and altering his visitation schedule. On July 29, 2016, Amy filed a second complaint for modification, again requesting an increase in Monty's child support obligation on the basis of "substantial and material changes in circumstances." The chancery court held a trial on February 23, 2017, and on May 23, 2017, the court entered a final judgment granting Amy's request in part and denying the remainder of Amy's complaint for modification. Aggrieved, Amy filed this appeal.

         ¶2. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶3. Amy and Monty were lawfully married on March 16, 2000, in Gautier, Mississippi, and they resided together as husband and wife until their separation on October 22, 2006. Amy and Monty are the parents of two minor children-one daughter born in March 1999, and another daughter born in February 2004.[1]

         ¶4. Amy and Monty filed a joint complaint for divorce on November 8, 2006. On May 25, 2007, the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi, granted a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences and pursuant to the parties' mutually executed property settlement agreement. Amy received physical custody of the two children and the right to claim her youngest daughter for federal and state income tax purposes. Monty received visitation privileges with the two children on alternating weekends, alternating holidays, and during the summer, and he also received the right to claim his oldest daughter for federal and state income tax purposes. The chancery court further ordered Monty to pay Amy $130 per week in child support for the benefit of the two children and declared Monty responsible for one-half of reasonable college expenses if the children elected to pursue post-secondary education.

         ¶5. On October 12, 2011, Amy filed a complaint for modification of Monty's child support obligation. The chancery court entered an agreed order on March 8, 2012, which increased Monty's child support obligation from $130 per week to $833 per month ($192.37 per week) and altered his visitation schedule to include visitation on Wednesday afternoons. The chancery court denied Monty's request for credit or reimbursement for overpayment of child support. The chancery court also denied Amy's request for monetary aid for the children's extracurricular activities.

         ¶6. On July 29, 2016, Amy filed a second complaint for modification. Amy again requested an increase in Monty's child support obligation based on "substantial and material changes in circumstances" related to the children's increased needs and Monty's increased income. Amy alleged the following changes in circumstances: (1) "[i]t has been more than four (4) years since the court set child support"; (2) "[t]he needs of the children have increased"; (3) "[Monty] earns substantially more income"; (4) "[t]he costs of food, clothing and shelter have increased exponentially"; (5) "[t]he children are active and participate in many events and activities"; (6) "[t]he oldest child is a licensed driver in Mississippi and has costs affiliated with such"; and (7) "[o]ther changes to be shown at trial." In support of her complaint, Amy produced Uniform Chancery Court Rule 8.05 financial statements- including copies of her pay stubs, her W-2 tax form, and her 2016 tax return-and an exhibit that included a detailed list of expenses that she stated were a result of the increased needs of the children.

         ¶7. Amy requested that the chancery court modify its prior orders to (1) award Amy the right to claim both children as dependents for federal and state income tax purposes; (2) order Monty to pay the cost of each child's extracurricular activities; (3) order Monty to pay for automobile insurance for the children; (4) order Monty to pay for expenses incurred during each child's senior year of high school, including senior portraits, invitations, caps and gowns, diplomas, yearbooks, etc.; and (5) order Monty to provide each child with a four-year college education, including the cost of tuition, books, room and board, and ...


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