Session Date: September 18, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Madison County No. 69732 James F.
case involves the interpretation and enforcement of an
alimony termination provision in the parties' marital
dissolution agreement. Wife filed a Notice of Termination of
Alimony Payments in the Chancery Court of Madison County,
alleging that Husband's non-compliance with the
parties' permanent parenting plan relieved her of any
further obligation to pay alimony pursuant to the alimony
provision of their marital dissolution agreement. Husband
then filed a motion to enforce the marital dissolution
agreement and for a temporary injunction. Wife subsequently
moved for summary judgment to enforce the alimony provision
of the marital dissolution agreement. Husband did not dispute
that he failed to comply with the "Passport
Provision" of the parties' permanent parenting plan
but argued that his violation of the agreement did not
relieve Wife's obligation to continue to pay alimony
in solido. The trial court concluded that the
marital dissolution agreement unambiguously provided that
Wife would be immediately relieved of her total obligation to
pay alimony if Husband failed to comply with his obligations
under the parties' permanent parenting plan and granted
Wife's motion for summary judgment. Husband appeals the
trial court's granting of summary judgment, while Wife
seeks an award of her attorney's fees on appeal. Finding
no error, we affirm the trial court's granting of summary
judgment and award the Wife her attorneys' fees incurred
on appeal which the trial court shall calculate upon remand.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed and Remanded
Breakstone, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Moshe
Rice, Jennifer Bellott Goodin and Erin O'Dea, Memphis,
Tennessee, for the appellee, Alice Marie Cherqui.
B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Brandon O. Gibson and Kenny Armstrong, JJ., joined.
B. GOLDIN, JUDGE
and Procedural History
Marie Cherqui ("Wife") and Moshe Laor
("Husband") were divorced in September 2014. The
parties have one minor child ("the child"), born
September 2012. A marital dissolution agreement
("MDA") and permanent parenting plan
("PPP") were incorporated into the parties'
final decree of divorce. The current litigation involves the
interpretation of the "Alimony"
provision of the parties' MDA, which provides:
Beginning October 1, 2014, Wife will pay to Husband five
thousand dollars ($5000) per month for a period of forty (40)
months. Wife reserves the right to accelerate the alimony
payments under this provision, at her discretion, at any
time, and in any amount of her choice.
Half of each monthly payment shall be in the form of alimony
The other half of each monthly payment shall be in the form
of transitional alimony[.]
The total monthly payments shall not be modifiable with
the following exception: should Husband fail to comply with
the provisions enumerated below, which can be found
within either this Agreement or the parties'
Permanent Parenting Plan, Wife shall be immediately relieved
of any further obligation to comply with this
Alimony provision, beginning on
Husband's date of non-compliance. Husband shall
immediately reimburse Wife for any alimony payments received
past the date of non-compliance, but no later than thirty
(30) days after the date of non-compliance. The
termination of Wife's obligation under thecircumstancesofthis paragraph shall
be irrevocable, regardless of subsequent compliance with the
provisions of ...