Noble v. Stubblefield

CourtCourt of Appeals of Tennessee
Writing for the CourtTODD
Citation755 S.W.2d 454
PartiesGlenn A. NOBLE, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Frances STUBBLEFIELD (Noble), Defendant-Appellant. 755 S.W.2d 454
Decision Date23 March 1988

Page 454

755 S.W.2d 454
Glenn A. NOBLE, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Frances STUBBLEFIELD (Noble), Defendant-Appellant.
755 S.W.2d 454
Court of Appeals of Tennessee,
Middle Section, at Nashville.
March 23, 1988.
Permission to Appeal Denied by
Supreme Court July 18, 1988.

George P. Linebaugh, Jr., Nashville, for plaintiff-appellee.

Ernest W. Williams, Franklin, for defendant-appellant.

OPINION

TODD, Presiding Judge.

The defendant-wife, Frances Stubblefield Noble has appealed from a post-divorce order terminating periodic alimony.

Page 455

Appellant presents issues of whether there was a change of circumstances to justify termination of alimony; whether the alimony was periodic or in solido; and whether the Trial Court retained authority to modify an irrevocable trust.

On July 5, 1984, the Trial Judge entered a judgment which read in pertinent part as follows:

This cause came on to be heard on the 5th day of July, 1984, before the Honorable Muriel Robinson, Judge of the Fourth Circuit Court for Davidson County, Tennessee, on the Complaint for Divorce, Answer and Counter-Claim of Defendant, the Property Settlement Agreement, the testimony of Plaintiff in Open Court, and the record as a whole, from all of which it duly appeared to the Court that Plaintiff is entitled to an absolute divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences; that the parties have entitled (sic) into an equitable settlement of any property rights between them; and that the parties have no minor children.

IT IS THEREFORE, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Plaintiff, Glenn A. Noble, be granted an absolute divorce from the Defendant, Frances Stubblefield Noble, on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, and that the parties be restored to all the rights and privileges of unmarried persons.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Defendant's maiden name "Stubblefield" be restored.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Property Settlement Agreement executed by and between the parties be and is hereby approved by the Court and judgment rendered thereon in the form and substance set forth below.

The Property Settlement Agreement attached to the judgment read in pertinent part as follows:

2. It is understood and agreed between the parties that the Husband shall establish a trust for the use and benefit of the Wife which shall take effect upon a decree of divorce between the parties in the suit now pending between them becoming final, in the principal amount of $50,000.00, a copy of said Trust being attached hereto and made a part hereof. Payment from said Trust to the Wife shall commence effective as of June, 1984.

The Trust Agreement attached to the Property Settlement Agreement and the judgment read in pertinent part as follows:

1. Trust Property.

The Grantor, desiring to create a trust for the benefit of Frances Stubblefield (formerly Frances Stubblefield Noble) and for other good and valuable consideration, irrevocably assigns to the Trustee the property described in attached Schedule A (the "trust property") in trust for the purposes and on the conditions hereinafter stated.

2. Dispositive Provisions.

The Trustee shall hold the trust property as reflected in Schedule A and shall collect and receive the income, and shall pay therefrom Five Hundred dollars ($500.00) per month on or before the 10th day of each month, to Frances Stubblefield (formerly Frances Stubblefield Noble) for and during her entire lifetime. Upon the death of Frances Stubblefield (formerly Frances Stubblefield Noble) the Trustee shall pay the principal and accumulated income, if any, in equal shares, one share to each child of the Grantor surviving the termination of the trust and one share to the issue of any child of the Grantor then deceased leaving issue, per stirpes, and not per capita.

....

8. Irrevocability.

The trust shall be irrevocable and the Grantor expressly waives all rights and powers, whether alone or in conjunction with others, and regardless of when or from what source he may have acquired such rights and powers, to alter, amend, revoke or terminate the trust or any of the terms of the agreement in whole or in part.

Page 456

On February 25, 1987, plaintiff filed a "Petition to Terminate Alimony Payments".

The petition alleged that the divorce decree awarded alimony of $500.00 per month. A close scrutiny of the divorce decree, the property settlement agreement and the trust agreement fails to disclose the use of the word, alimony, or any equivalent word therein.

The petition alleges that, since the divorce decree, the defendant has become financially independent and no longer needs the $500 per month "alimony".

The petition prays that "all periodic alimony payments be terminated".

The answer to the petition avers that the $50,000 trust fund was alimony in solido and not subject to modification by the Trial Court.

Upon hearing the petition, the Trial Judge filed a memorandum stating:

It appears to the Court that by the terms of the Property Settlement Agreement incorporated into the Final Decree entered in this cause on the 16th day of July, 1984, the petitioner established a so-called "Irrevocable Trust" in the amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) from which the defendant was to receive the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) per month for her lifetime. The court is of...

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5 practice notes
  • Long v. McAllister-Long, No. M2005-00072-COA-R3-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • 28 Agosto 2006
    ...final divorce decree and remain modifiable by the courts. See Penland v. Penland, 521 S.W.2d 222, 224 (Tenn.1975); Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454, 457 (Tenn.Ct.App.1988). However, agreements involving support for non-disabled children past the age of their majority do not merge into ......
  • Towner v. Towner
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • 6 Julio 1993
    ...an ascertainable total amount to be paid." And, relying upon Jones v. Jones, 784 S.W.2d 349 (Tenn.App.1989), and Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454 (Tenn.App.1988), the court found the trial court "was without authority to modify its former decree as to the property division, including t......
  • Miller v. Davidson, No. M2006-00099-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. App. 10/5/2006), No. M2006-00099-COA-R3-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • 5 Octubre 2006
    ...see Sellers v. Sellers, No. E2005-02867-COA-R3-CV, 2006 WL 2567517, at *1-2, 6 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 7, 2006); Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454, 458 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1988), we conclude that the trial court erred as a matter of law when it construed the $600 monthly payment as alimony in......
  • Sellers v. Sellers, No. E2005-02867-COA-R3-CV.
    • United States
    • Tennessee Court of Appeals
    • 7 Septiembre 2006
    ...final and the decree does not award alimony, the spouse may not be awarded alimony at any subsequent time"); and Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454, 458 (Tenn.Ct.App.1988) ("The right to alimony was actually waived and lost by failure to provide for it in the [divorce] decree."). See als......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Long v. McAllister-Long, No. M2005-00072-COA-R3-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • 28 Agosto 2006
    ...final divorce decree and remain modifiable by the courts. See Penland v. Penland, 521 S.W.2d 222, 224 (Tenn.1975); Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454, 457 (Tenn.Ct.App.1988). However, agreements involving support for non-disabled children past the age of their majority do not merge into ......
  • Towner v. Towner
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • 6 Julio 1993
    ...an ascertainable total amount to be paid." And, relying upon Jones v. Jones, 784 S.W.2d 349 (Tenn.App.1989), and Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454 (Tenn.App.1988), the court found the trial court "was without authority to modify its former decree as to the property division, including t......
  • Miller v. Davidson, No. M2006-00099-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. App. 10/5/2006), No. M2006-00099-COA-R3-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • 5 Octubre 2006
    ...see Sellers v. Sellers, No. E2005-02867-COA-R3-CV, 2006 WL 2567517, at *1-2, 6 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 7, 2006); Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454, 458 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1988), we conclude that the trial court erred as a matter of law when it construed the $600 monthly payment as alimony in......
  • Sellers v. Sellers, No. E2005-02867-COA-R3-CV.
    • United States
    • Tennessee Court of Appeals
    • 7 Septiembre 2006
    ...final and the decree does not award alimony, the spouse may not be awarded alimony at any subsequent time"); and Noble v. Stubblefield, 755 S.W.2d 454, 458 (Tenn.Ct.App.1988) ("The right to alimony was actually waived and lost by failure to provide for it in the [divorce] decree."). See als......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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