ADNAN A. ALATTIYAT
FAIZA A. QASQAS
Session September 18, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Shelby County No. CT-004351-14
Robert Samual Weiss, Judge
a divorce case. Appellant/Husband appeals the trial
court's denial of his motion for summary judgment, his
motion to vacate the pendente lite award, the
division of marital property, and the award of alimony.
Discerning no error, we affirm and remand.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded.
A. Alattiyat, pro se.
Michael D. Snell, Marion, Arkansas, for the appellee, Faiza
Armstrong, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Arnold B. Goldin and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ., joined.
Faiza A. Qasqas ("Wife") was born in Palestine in
1961. She grew up in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and
graduated from college in 1989. Thereafter, she was licensed
as a lawyer in Jordan. In 1996, she met Appellant Adnan A.
Alattiyat ("Husband"). After they began dating,
Wife had a new birth certificate issued in Jordan, which
indicated that she was born in 1965 rather than 1961. Wife
testified that Husband was aware of this new birth
certificate and that she obtained it at his request to
appease his family as to their age disparity because Wife is
10 years older than Husband. Husband denies that he was aware
of the new birth certificate prior to the parties'
marriage. The parties were married in 1997 in Ammon, Jordan,
and three children were born to the marriage. Following their
marriage, the parties moved to Memphis, where they entered
into a lease to operate a convenience store. This venture
proved unsuccessful, and, in February 2012, the parties sold
their interest in the convenience store. Due to their
financial difficulties, the parties lost their home in
Memphis and moved to California to be near Wife's family.
The parties moved back to Memphis six months later, and
Husband took a job as a cashier at a convenience store.
Husband ultimately contracted for and opened an Exxon
"Hop In" store in Memphis. At trial, Husband
testified that he borrowed the money for this endeavor from
his brothers. When the business closed in 2015, Husband
testified that the proceeds from the sale of the business
were used to repay his brothers.
parties separated in August 2014, following an altercation
where police were called. On August 21, 2014, Wife filed for
an order of protection against Husband. On October 15, 2014,
Husband filed a complaint for divorce, wherein he alleged the
grounds of inappropriate marital conduct, irreconcilable
differences, and abandonment. Wife filed an answer and
counter-complaint for divorce on November 6, 2014. A
pendente lite hearing was held on December 17, 2014,
at which Wife testified that she was not working and had no
income. Husband obtained counsel after the pendente
lite hearing and appealed the divorce referee's
ruling to the circuit court. By order of February 27, 2015,
temporary support based on Wife having no income and Husband
having a monthly income of $3, 143.72 was set as follows: (1)
Wife was awarded $500 per month in transitional alimony; (2)
Husband was ordered to pay child support in the amount of
$933 per month; (3) Husband was ordered to pay Wife's
attorney fees in the amount of $3, 447.00. The parties agreed
to a temporary parenting plan, which was entered on January
February 19, 2015, Husband's attorney filed a motion to
withdraw. On February 26, 2015, Wife was arrested by the
Shelby County Sheriff and charged with aggravated perjury
based on allegations made by Husband regarding Wife's
testimony at the hearing before the divorce referee. These
charges were later dismissed, nolle prosequi,
without costs. The day after Wife's arrest, the trial
court entered an order allowing Husband's attorney to
withdraw. Although Husband's motion appealing the
pendente lite order was pending, on March 15, 2015,
Husband filed a motion to vacate judgment, which he asserted
was obtained by perjury. Husband subsequently filed two
motions for recusal, alleging bias on the part of Shelby
County Circuit Court Judge James Russell, who was originally
assigned to the case. These motions were ultimately denied.
However, on April 27, 2015, Judge Russell transferred the
case to another division of circuit court.
6, 2015, three days before trial, Husband filed a motion for
summary judgment, alleging that the marriage was obtained by
fraud and requesting that the marriage be annulled.
Husband's allegations were based on the fact that
Wife's Jordanian birth certificate listed her year of
birth as 1965 rather than 1961. The case proceeded to trial
on July 9, 2015. On April 15, 2016, the trial court entered a
final decree of divorce. The trial court denied Husband's
motion for summary judgment and declared the parties divorced
pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-129. The
trial court modified the pendente lite order, based
on its finding that Wife's testimony, at the hearing
before the divorce referee, was inconsistent with her
testimony at trial. Specifically, Wife testified during the
hearing before the divorce referee that she had no income;
however, during the trial, Wife testified that she received
financial support from the Memphis Islamic Center and income
from her current employer, All Tennessee Care Givers, LLC.
The trial court modified the child support worksheet to
reflect Wife's gross monthly income of $1, 690.26. At the
time of trial, Husband testified that he was unemployed;
however, the trial court found that Husband was willfully
underemployed and imputed income of $2, 940.00 per month. The
trial court ordered that each party would retain the personal
property currently in his or her possession and that each
would be responsible for his or her debts. Husband was
ordered to pay Wife rehabilitative alimony of $500 per month
for 12 months and alimony in solido of $3, 000. The
trial court adopted the parties' temporary parenting plan
but reduced Husband's child support obligation to $589.00
April 29, 2016, Husband filed a notice of appeal. On May 11,
2016, he filed a motion to alter, amend, or vacate the
judgment pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 59.
The motion was heard on May 20, 2016, and was denied by order
of May 26, 2016. Although the trial court denied
Husband's Rule 59 motion, the May 26, 2017 order included
additional findings of fact. Husband appeals.
raises five issues for review, which we restate as follows:
1. Whether the trial court erred in entering a final judgment
without including written findings of fact and conclusions of
law, as required by Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 52.01?
2. Whether the trial court erred in denying Appellant's
motion for summary judgment?
3. Whether the trial court erred in denying Appellant's
motion to vacate judgment obtained by perjury, and instead
granting Appellant's motion appealing ...