[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, THIRTEENTH DIVISION
[NO. 60DR-16-2301], HONORABLE W. MICHAEL REIF, JUDGE
Westerfield, Hot Springs National Park, for appellant.
R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Appellant Phyllis Haley filed this one-brief appeal to
challenge the amended divorce decree entered in her divorce
from Kerry Haley. On appeal, Phyllis argues that the circuit
court committed numerous errors meriting reversal.
Specifically, she disputes the circuit courts findings
related to the child-support award, the property division,
the adjudication of a personal-injury claim she made against
Kerry, and the refusal to award her attorneys fees. We
affirm on all points.
Phyllis and Kerry married in September 1992. During their
nearly twenty-four-year marriage, they had two daughters.
Phyllis and Kerry also amassed a significant amount of both
real and personal property, which included four marital
rental properties, nine rental properties owned exclusively
by Phyllis as her nonmarital property, and a business Kerry
began during the marriage— AnT Auto.
Phyllis and Kerry separated on June 8, 2016, and Kerry filed
a complaint for divorce based on general indignities the next
day. Phyllis answered Kerrys complaint and counterclaimed
for divorce based on general indignities. At the time of the
filing of the complaint and counterclaim, the younger
daughter was a minor; thus, issues relating to her custody as
well as child support required adjudication.
circuit court held a temporary hearing in October 2016. At
the opening of the hearing, the parties announced that they
had reached an agreement on the majority of the temporary
issues. Shortly thereafter, a temporary order was entered
that memorialized the parties agreement. Significantly,
this order awarded Phyllis custody of the minor child and
required Kerry to make monthly child-support payments of $
1217 beginning on November 5, 2016. The temporary order also
provided that the parties would split the minor childs
school tuition and other school-related expenses. Phyllis was
awarded temporary possession of the marital residence, and
the parties were ordered to equally divide the mortgage
payment on the residence. With regard to the rental
properties, the circuit court ordered that Kerry would
"continue to maintain, be responsible for any expense,
and collect rent" for the four marital rental properties
and that Phyllis would "maintain, be responsible for any
expenses, and collect rental for her nonmarital rental
properties." Before the parties separation, Kerry had
managed both the marital and nonmarital rental properties.
Following the entry of the temporary order, Phyllis filed a
motion to modify child support in February 2017, in which she
sought retroactive child support from the date that Kerry
filed his complaint for divorce— essentially, she
requested that the circuit court award her support for the
months of June through October 2016. Then in May 2017,
Phyllis filed an amended counterclaim for divorce in which
she alleged both general indignities and physical abuse as
grounds for divorce. She also included in the amended
counterclaim a personal-injury claim against Kerry, alleging
that Kerry physically and emotionally abused her.
circuit court held a final divorce hearing on June 8 and July
12, 2017. The parties stipulated that grounds for divorce
were not contested and that Phyllis should be granted a
divorce on her counterclaim. Kerry also consented to
Phylliss having custody of their minor child. The issues of
Kerrys child-support obligation and division of the parties
property were sharply disputed. At the conclusion of the
second day of the hearing, the circuit court took the matter
under advisement and later telephoned the parties counsel to
announce its ruling.
circuit courts ruling was reduced to writing, and a divorce
decree was entered on September 25, 2017. One day later, the
circuit court entered an amended divorce decree, which was
substantially the same as the original divorce decree.
Phyllis timely appealed from the amended divorce decree.
appeal, Phyllis raises eight arguments in support of
reversal. Specifically, she contends the circuit
court erred by (1) denying her request for retroactive child
support; (2) allowing Kerry to retain the income collected
from the four marital rental properties from July 2012
through July 2016; (3) allowing Kerry to retain the income
collected from her nine nonmarital properties from July 2012
to July 2016; (4) denying her tort claim against Kerry; (5)
denying her any portion of Kerrys 2016 bonus; (6)
determining that Kerry had sold one-half of his interest in
AnT Auto to his father; (7) finding that the 2015 tax refund
was not a marital asset; and (8) refusing to award her a
reasonable attorneys fee.
record on appeal was lodged with our court in March 2018.
Shortly thereafter, ...