FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. DR 2013-2217-7.
HONORABLE JOANNA TAYLOR, JUDGE.
OF APPEALS OPINION VACATED; REMANDED TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
Wales & Comstock, by: John C. Everett; and Smith, Cohen
& Horan, PLC, by: Matthew T. Horan, for appellant.
Law Firm, PLLC, by: Suzanne G. Clark, for appellee.
W. BRILL, Chief justice. Special Justices DANIEL GREENBERG
and CHAD ATWELL join. DANIELSON and GOODSON, JJ., not
W. BRILL, Chief justice
Owen Kelly appeals an order of the Washington County Circuit
Court awarding alimony in two automatic escalations to
appellee Mandy Kelly. For reversal, Owen argues that the
circuit court abused its discretion by ordering alimony in
this manner. We vacate the opinion of the court of appeals
and remand the appeal for further consideration.
Kelly and Mandy Kelly married in April 1994. The parties have
two children, a daughter born in November 1999, and a son
born in October 2002. In June 2013, the Kellys separated and
divorced by a decree entered on April 24, 2014. The circuit
court awarded Mandy primary custody
of the children and ordered Owen to pay $7,528 a month in
child support beginning April 1, 2014. The circuit court
ruled that Mandy's monthly expenses totaled $16,659. The
circuit court then subtracted the $7,528 award in child
support from $16,659 and ordered Owen to pay $9,131 in
alimony to begin April 1, 2014. The circuit court further
stated as follows:
[I]f [Owen's] child support obligation is subsequently
reduced to $5,366.00 per month when he is no longer obligated
to pay child support for [the parties' daughter], his
alimony obligation to [Mandy] shall increase to $11,293.00
per month, which is calculated as deducting $5,366.00 in
child support from the monthly need of $16,659.00. Finally,
when [Owen] no longer has a child support obligation for
either of the minor children his monthly alimony obligation
to [Mandy) shall then be $16,659.00 per month.
with regard to the marital home, the circuit court ruled,
The court was requested to make disposition of the following
marital assets and divides the property as follows:
A. The former marital residence . . . shall be reduced to
tenants in common and continued to be offered for sale under
the current listing agreement until July 15, 2014. If the
home sells during this listing period, the parties shall each
receive one-half of any net proceeds realized after payment
of the outstanding mortgages, commissions and closing costs.
If the home does not sell by July 15, 2014, then the circuit
clerk of Pope County, Arkansas is appointed as Commissioner
for purposes of public sale and after proper advertisement,
the asset will be sold by auction on the courthouse steps.