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Webb v. Webb

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

December 10, 2014

REGINA JO WEBB, APPELLANT
v.
LESTER WEBB, APPELLEE

Page 266

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 267

APPEAL FROM THE GRANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. (27) DR-2011-168-2. HONORABLE EDDY ROGER EASLEY, JUDGE.

AFFIRMED.

Sherry Burnett; and Brett D. Watson, Attorney at Law, PLLC, by: Brett D. Watson, for appellant.

The Law Offices of J. Brent Standridge, P.A., by: J. Brent Standridge, for appellee.

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge. WALMSLEY and VAUGHT, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 268

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge

Appellant Regina Jo Webb seeks a reversal of the November 26, 2013 decree of divorce in the Grant County Circuit Court. She argues that the circuit court erred in awarding her only $225 per week in permanent alimony, dividing the marital property equally, and in not requiring appellee Lester Webb to pay her attorney's fees. We affirm.

On November 2, 2011, appellee filed a complaint seeking a divorce from appellant on the ground of general indignities. On November 16, 2011, appellant filed an answer to the complaint along with a counterclaim for divorce, also on the ground of general indignities. Additionally, she sought an unequal allocation of the marital debt, temporary and permanent alimony, and a reasonable attorney's fee.

A temporary hearing was held on January 11, 2012, and a temporary order was entered on February 1, 2012, wherein the circuit court ordered appellee to pay appellant $550 per week in temporary alimony beginning January 18, 2012, and continuing pending further order of the circuit court. Appellee was also ordered to pay appellant's stepfather the amount of $3,044.86 for expenses related to appellant's care from the time she moved into her stepfather's home after the parties separated. The issue of an attorney's fee was held in abeyance.

Final hearings were held on January 20, 2013, and April 12, 2013, at which time the circuit court heard the testimony of several witnesses including both parties, and multiple exhibits were received into evidence. After the parties submitted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, the circuit court entered a final decree of divorce on November 26, 2013, granting appellee a divorce from appellant on the ground of eighteenth months' separation. The decree ordered that appellee would pay appellant permanent alimony in the amount of $225 per week, that the marital assets would be divided equally, and that each party would be required to pay their own attorney's fee.

On December 2, 2013, an amended agreed order concerning marital property was filed wherein it was noted that all personal property had been divided, that appellant agreed to transfer her interest in the marital home to appellee for the amount of $43,500, and that she also agreed to transfer her interest in a certain mobile home to the parties' son. Other agreed orders and qualifying domestic relations orders (QDROs) concerning the property and assets were also entered. Appellant filed a motion for reconsideration of the final decree on December 2, 2013, and on December 10, 2013, appellee filed a reply to the motion for reconsideration. Subsequently, appellant filed a reply to the response to the motion for reconsideration, but no order was entered addressing the various pleadings filed after the divorce decree was entered. Appellant filed the appropriate and timely notices of appeal and amended notices of appeal in the circuit court, and this appeal followed.

On appeal, divorce cases are reviewed de novo. Brave v. Brave, 2014 Ark. 175, 433 S.W.3d 227. Decisions such as those involving alimony, division of marital property, and attorney's fees, however, fall within the sound discretion of the circuit court and are reviewed for an abuse of that discretion. See id. It should also be noted that the division of marital property and an award of alimony are complementary devices that a circuit court may employ to make the dissolution of the marriage financially equitable. Yancy v. Yancy, 2014 Ark.App. 256. There can be no abuse of discretion and a circuit court's decision regarding these issues cannot

Page 269

be overturned unless it can be demonstrated that it exercised its discretion improvidently or thoughtlessly without due consideration. Smithson v. ...


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