FROM THE POLK COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. DR-2010-111-2]
HONORABLE J.W. LOONEY, JUDGE
W. Foster, for appellant.
Troutt Law Firm, by: R. Scott Troutt, for appellee.
J. GLADWIN, CHIEF JUDGE
appeal returns to our court following our order for
rebriefing. See Cummings v. Cummings, 2015 Ark.App.
517. With the deficiency that necessitated rebriefing cured,
we now address the merits of Harry Cummings's
domestic-relations appeal. On appeal, we must decide whether
the trial court erred by holding Harry in contempt and with
its award of alimony to Rebekah Cummings. Finding no error,
Facts and Procedural History
April 23, 2010, after nearly twenty years of marriage, Harry
filed a complaint for divorce from Rebekah. Rebekah answered
the complaint and counterclaimed for divorce requesting
temporary and permanent alimony.
a final divorce trial, the trial court granted the
parties' divorce and ordered their personal property
divided. The trial court took the remaining issues under
advisement. Later, the court issued a letter opinion
outlining its ruling on the outstanding issues. For purposes
of our review, we note that the trial court's letter
opinion ordered (1) that the marital home would be listed
with a realtor for three months, and if not sold during that
time, it would be sold at auction for an amount greater than
or equal to the parties' indebtedness on the
house; (2) that Harry pay rehabilitative
alimony in the amount of $500 per month for five years
commencing after the marital home was sold; and (3) that
Rebekah had a fifty-percent interest in Harry's military
retirement benefits. A final divorce decree memorializing the
court's ruling was entered on July 19, 2011.
trial court entered an amended final decree on December 22,
2011, after the sale of the marital home. This decree set a
date for alimony payments to commence and provided a formula
for calculating the amount of Harry's retirement benefits
to which Rebekah was entitled.
January 4, 2012, Harry filed a motion seeking to have his
alimony reduced. In his motion, Harry asserted that the
parties' divorce decree awarded him $15, 956 from
Rebekah's share of the net sales proceeds of the house.
But, based on the sales price of the house, only $3, 329.90
was available. He petitioned the court for an offset in the
amount of $12, 626.10 and asked the court to reduce his
rehabilitative alimony payments to $289.56 per month for five
years to satisfy this amount. Rebekah objected to this, but,
in a second amended final decree, the trial court ultimately
reduced Harry's alimony obligation to $289.56 per month
to offset the credit balance owed to him by Rebekah.
the entry of the second amended final decree, an issue
regarding Harry's retirement benefits arose. Around
November 2012, Harry retired and, shortly thereafter, he was
placed on full disability. The disability classification
resulted in a loss of retirement benefits.
March 20, 2013, Rebekah petitioned the trial court to modify
alimony to compensate for the change in Harry's
retirement benefits. Harry objected to
any increase in alimony.
motion, Rebekah also argued that Harry was not providing her
with information regarding his military benefits. On October
7, 2013, the trial court ordered Harry to provide retirement
information and status to Rebekah. On November 5, 2013,
Rebekah filed a motion for contempt alleging that Harry had
failed to comply with her requests for information.
the trial court issued a letter opinion outlining its
decision regarding Rebekah's alimony. The court took into
account Harry's disability benefits and his lack of
retirement benefits when it determined alimony.
20, 2014, the trial court entered a "Military Pension
Division Order." This order directed the government to
divide Harry's military benefits. According to the March
2014 letter from the court, the division was ordered in
response to Rebekah's alimony request. However, the order
itself does not identify the payments to ...