Aldridge v. Aldridge

Decision Date25 November 1946
Docket Number36220.
Citation200 Miss. 874,27 So.2d 884
CourtMississippi Supreme Court
PartiesALDRIDGE v. ALDRIDGE.

Forrest G. Cooper and Jack E. Harper, Jr., both of Indianola, for appellant.

Neill, Clark & Townsend, of Indianola, for appellee.

ALEXANDER Justice.

Bill for divorce and alimony was filed by appellee. Divorce was granted, with alimony pendente lite and counsel fees.

By way of permanent alimony, the following awards were made obligatory upon appellant in appellee's favor: The sum of $7,500 payable within thirty days; confirmation of title in appellee to an eighty acre tract in Sunflower County described as SE 1/4 of SW 1/4 and SW 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 32, Township 20, Range 3 West; the payment and cancellation of an outstanding indebtedness against said lands in the principal sum of $940.96, together with accrued taxes thereon; and the fixing of a lien upon other lands to secure the payment of such sums. From the decree making such awards appeal is here prosecuted.

It is elemental that the manner and amount of such awards are peculiarly and primarily matters for decision by the chancellor. This Court withholds its own views in deference to the discretion of the court before whom the witnesses appear, and whose solicitude for a just determination is presumed to have integrated into its decision the relevant factors of comparative need and ability, physical and financial condition, and the present and future effect upon the well-being of both parties. These conclusions packaged under the solicitous scrutiny of the chancellor and secured by the seal of a factual determination are ordinarily accepted and retained intact and rarely opened for inspection. Certainly it is impervious to damage or deterioration from exposure to mere doubts. De Marco v De Marco, Miss., 24 So.2d 358; McNees v. McNees Miss., 24 So.2d 751. Pursuant to such policy, we conclude that the fixing of the amount of alimony at $7,500 was not unwarranted. In fixing the amount, the learned chancellor decided conflicting issues touching appellant's net worth and his ownership of substantial real estate. The record presents to us many of these complexities which we need not resolve save to the extent that we find substantial basis for the conclusions of the trial court.

It is true that awards of alimony in a lump sum have been approved. Miller v. Miller, 173 Miss. 44, 159 So. 112; Hopkins v. Hopkins, 174 Miss. 643, 165 So. 414. It is equally true that Code 1942, Section 2743, authorizes the court, in its discretion, having regard to the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case, 'as may seem equitable and just' to make all orders touching the maintenance and alimony of the wife.

Any test of the justice of such award must include not only the benefit to the wife but the resultant burden to the husband. Once it is determined, as by our acceptance of the chancellor's finding we have done, that the amount awarded is a sufficient benefit to the wife, there remains the duty of testing the extent of the correlative burden upon the husband. The record justifies the conclusion that the payment of such lump sum could be made only by liquidating valuable properties in order to salvage their net equities or by increasing loans already burdensome. The difficulties ordinarily attendant upon the procuring of additional funds under existing liens will not be ameliorated by the inevitable disclosure of the occasion of, nor the purpose for, such additional advances. The record shows no substantial funds presently available, and contains some substantial basis for inferences that appellant controls no liquid assets commensurate with the amount of the lump sum award.

No pressing need seems to require the immediate payment of the entire award. We are privileged, as was the...

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19 cases
  • Retzer v. Retzer
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • December 12, 1990
    ...as opposed to or in addition to periodic alimony. Instead, it was discretionary with the chancery court. Aldridge v. Aldridge, 200 Miss. 874, 877, 27 So.2d 884, 885 (1946). See also, Harrell v. Harrell, 231 So.2d 793 (Miss.1970); McCraney v. McCraney, supra; Hopkins v. Hopkins, 174 Miss. 64......
  • Tilley v. Tilley
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • December 10, 1992
    ...and continually rolls over.2 That figure represents Richard's estimate of his wife's assets and liabilities.3 Aldridge v. Aldridge, 200 Miss. 874, 877, 27 So.2d 884, 885 (1946); see also, Harrell v. Harrell, 231 So.2d 793 (Miss.1970); McCraney v. McCraney, 208 Miss. 105, 43 So.2d 872 (1950)......
  • Rustin v. Rustin (In re Rustin), CASE NO. 04-50890-NPO
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Southern District of Mississippi
    • November 9, 2011
    ...perhaps for the first time, that the divorce statute authorized chancellors to award alimony in lump sum. Later, in Aldridge v. Aldridge, 27 So. 2d 884, 885-86 (Miss. 1946), the Mississippi Supreme Court sanctioned payment of lump-sum alimony in installments. b. Distribution of Marital Prop......
  • Tanner v. Tanner, 56584
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • December 18, 1985
    ...it may make such order with respect to alimony or allowance as the trial court should have made. Id. at 856. In Aldridge v. Aldridge, 200 Miss. 874, 27 So.2d 884, 885 (1946), this Court Any test of the justice of such award must include not only the benefit to the wife but the resultant bur......
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