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Buntyn v. Buntyn

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

February 28, 2017

JEANETTE ARNOLD BUNTYN
v.
STEVONSKI ELLIOTT BUNTYN

          Session January 18, 2017

         Appeal from the Chancery Court for Madison County No. 71133 James F. Butler, Chancellor

         This appeal stems from a divorce proceeding in which Wife was awarded alimony in futuro. For the reasons stated herein, we vacate the trial court's award of alimony and remand for further proceedings.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Vacated and Remanded

          David W. Camp, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stevonski Elliott Buntyn.

          Jeanette Arnold Buntyn, Appellee. [1]

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John W. McClarty and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background and Procedural History

         Jeanette Arnold Buntyn ("Wife") and Stevonski Elliott Buntyn ("Husband") were married in 1994. Although two children were born of the marriage, only one was a minor at the time of trial. Wife was employed as a social worker for West Tennessee Healthcare at the time of trial while Husband was gainfully employed with a tire and wheel company.

         The present litigation was commenced in October 2013 when Wife filed a complaint for divorce. Therein, Wife asserted that Husband was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct and that irreconcilable differences had arisen in the marriage. In addition to requesting that the trial court make an equitable distribution of the parties' property and approve her proposed parenting plan, Wife requested that she receive an award of alimony.

         Husband filed an answer to Wife's complaint in December 2013. Although he admitted that irreconcilable differences had arisen between the parties, he denied that he was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. Contemporaneous with the filing of Husband's answer was his filing of a counterclaim for divorce. In his counterclaim, Husband alleged that Wife was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. Husband also requested that he be awarded alimony from Wife. Wife would later file an answer to Husband's counterclaim in January 2014, wherein she denied that she was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. A one-day trial eventually took place in July 2014.

         On October 10, 2014, the trial court entered its "Final Decree of Divorce." In addition to awarding Wife a divorce, dividing the parties' property, and incorporating a parenting plan, the trial court's divorce decree ordered Husband to pay Wife $100.00 per month as alimony in futuro. Although Husband subsequently filed a motion to alter or amend the divorce decree, the ...


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