Hensley v. Hensley

CourtCourt of Appeals of Tennessee
Writing for the CourtSANDERS; PARROTT, P.J., and FRANKS
Citation631 S.W.2d 131
Decision Date21 August 1981
PartiesLorene P. HENSLEY, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Arthur G. HENSLEY, Defendant-Appellant.

Page 131

631 S.W.2d 131
Lorene P. HENSLEY, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Arthur G. HENSLEY, Defendant-Appellant.
Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Eastern Section.
Aug. 21, 1981.
Permission to Appeal Denied by Supreme Court Nov. 9, 1981.

Ted H. Lowe and Lois B. Shults, with Jenkins & Jenkins, Knoxville, for defendant-appellant.

Edward L. Summers, with Haynes, Meek, Jones & Summers, Knoxville, for plaintiff-appellee.

OPINION

SANDERS, Judge.

The Defendant, Arthur Hensley, appeals from a circuit court's division of marital properties and award of alimony in solido to the Plaintiff, Lorene Hensley.

The Plaintiff and Defendant were married in 1953. At the time of the marriage they were both juniors in high school. The Plaintiff was 17 years of age and the Defendant was 18. After the marriage they both quit school and the Defendant went to work for TVA. The Plaintiff at the time was working in a drug store but gave up her job at the request of the Defendant and shortly thereafter she became pregnant with their first child. When the first child was five years of age they had a second child and when that child was three years of age they had a third child. In the meantime the Defendant changed his employment to Union Carbide. The Defendant did not want the Plaintiff to work outside the home and she took care of all of the household duties and devoted her time to the Defendant and their children and their welfare. The parties later purchased a farm and both the Plaintiff and Defendant devoted considerable effort to the farming project. In addition to her household duties the Plaintiff did whatever work needed to be done on the farm. She looked after the cattle, ran the tractor and performed other necessary chores. Although the Defendant was a domineering person, the Plaintiff accepted her position as a dutiful wife and mother and they had a happy and congenial marriage.

In the meantime the Defendant had regular advancements in his employment and is now earning a salary in excess of $24,000 per year. In 1978 the parties built a new home on the farm.

In February, 1979, the Defendant, without being able to give any satisfactory reason to the Plaintiff, told her he was going to leave as soon as their son graduated from high school. Without belaboring the details, we think the record shows he had found an interest in some other woman and this was his reason for leaving. When the Plaintiff asked him if there was someone else involved, his reply was, "I refuse to answer that on the grounds it might incriminate me." Although the Plaintiff and their oldest daughter, who was 26 years of age at the time, tried to persuade the Defendant not to leave, he insisted on doing

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so. He stated that the Plaintiff had "been a good wife and a good mother." He stated to the Plaintiff, "I am selfish. I know this is not right for anybody but me." He moved out of the home in September, 1979. For the following three months he gave the Plaintiff some money to pay her bills but did not give her enough to live on and the oldest daughter had to give her money to help her pay her expenses. Since the Defendant was not giving the Plaintiff enough to live on, she filed a suit for separate maintenance. The court fixed temporary alimony at $400 per month and allowed the Plaintiff to keep $137.50 which she was collecting as rent each month on the property.

The Defendant filed an answer and cross-bill in which he charged the Plaintiff with cruel and inhuman treatment. He also asked for a divorce and an equitable division of the property.

The case was heard by the chancellor on September 30, 1980. Upon the hearing the Plaintiff took the position she did not want a divorce. She only wanted a divorce from bed and board. The Defendant, however, took the position that he wanted the court to grant an absolute divorce. After hearing the testimony of the Plaintiff and the Defendant, the court asked Defendant's counsel if he was willing to stipulate the Plaintiff was entitled to a divorce. He said he would do so on the condition an absolute divorce was granted. The court announced he was going to grant the Plaintiff an absolute divorce although she steadfastly insisted she only wanted a divorce from bed and board. It was her hope that the Defendant would see the error of his ways and there could be a reconciliation.

After deciding to grant an absolute divorce, the court then reached the issue of dividing the marital property and awarding alimony. In doing so he awarded the Plaintiff the home and 165 acres of farm land on which it was located together with the farm machinery. He gave her the household furnishings and a 1973 model Nova automobile. He gave the Defendant a 28.5-acre tract of land, part of which was owned as tenants in common with the Defendant's father. He gave the Defendant two savings accounts of $12,000, a piece of heavy equipment called a highlift with a value of approximately $7,000 and a 1978 model Datsun automobile, certain tools and shop equipment and all of his personal belongings including a gun collection. The court also ordered the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff's attorney's fees in the sum of $3,000.

After the court had announced his award, he stated that temporary alimony which had been previously awarded would be terminated. However, the Defendant filed a notice of appeal which left the Plaintiff without property or support pending the appeal. The Plaintiff filed a petition asking the court to reinstate the temporary alimony pending the appeal, which the court did.

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6 practice notes
  • Cohen v. Cohen
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • September 16, 1996
    ...and unvested retirement benefits were considered "economic circumstances" affecting the division of marital property. Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131, 134 (Tenn.App.), perm. to appeal denied, (Tenn.1981). Prior to the adoption of the statute, our intermediate appellate court (in an unrep......
  • Kendrick v. Kendrick
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • November 16, 1994
    ...the case. Both vested and nonvested pension rights figured into the division of marital property under this statute. Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131, 134 (Tenn.Ct.App.1981) (nonvested pension rights are "economic circumstances" affecting the division of marital Page 922 property); Whiteh......
  • Hardin v. Hardin
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • August 5, 1983
    ...attorney's fees. The trial court has wide discretion in this matter. Connors v. Connors, 594 S.W.2d 672 (Tenn.1980); Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131 (Tenn.App.1981); Ligon v. Ligon, 556 S.W.2d 763 (Tenn.App.1977); Crouch v. Crouch, 53 Tenn.App. 594, 385 S.W.2d 288 (1964); Raskind v. Rask......
  • Wade v. Wade
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • July 21, 1994
    ...was not at liberty to use the property she was awarded for her support until the final determination of the appeal. Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131, 135 (Tenn.App.1981). Wife, in the instant case, had available for her use and support few of the assets she was awarded. The trial court ba......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Cohen v. Cohen
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • September 16, 1996
    ...and unvested retirement benefits were considered "economic circumstances" affecting the division of marital property. Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131, 134 (Tenn.App.), perm. to appeal denied, (Tenn.1981). Prior to the adoption of the statute, our intermediate appellate court (in an unrep......
  • Kendrick v. Kendrick
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • November 16, 1994
    ...the case. Both vested and nonvested pension rights figured into the division of marital property under this statute. Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131, 134 (Tenn.Ct.App.1981) (nonvested pension rights are "economic circumstances" affecting the division of marital Page 922 property); Whiteh......
  • Hardin v. Hardin
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • August 5, 1983
    ...attorney's fees. The trial court has wide discretion in this matter. Connors v. Connors, 594 S.W.2d 672 (Tenn.1980); Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131 (Tenn.App.1981); Ligon v. Ligon, 556 S.W.2d 763 (Tenn.App.1977); Crouch v. Crouch, 53 Tenn.App. 594, 385 S.W.2d 288 (1964); Raskind v. Rask......
  • Wade v. Wade
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • July 21, 1994
    ...was not at liberty to use the property she was awarded for her support until the final determination of the appeal. Hensley v. Hensley, 631 S.W.2d 131, 135 (Tenn.App.1981). Wife, in the instant case, had available for her use and support few of the assets she was awarded. The trial court ba......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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