Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ferguson v. Ferguson case brief

Ferguson v. Ferguson case brief summary
639 So. 2d 921 (1994), En Banc

Appellant husband sought review of a final judgment of divorce entered by the Newton County Chancery Court (Mississippi), awarding a divorce to appellee wife, together with custody and support of the minor child, and denying the husband's counterclaim for divorce and custody of the child.

The wife filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery and requested permanent custody of the minor child. The husband denied the adultery charge, counterclaimed for divorce based on habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, and also sought custody of the child. The chancellor denied the husband's requests and awarded the wife a divorce, custody, child support, and alimony. The chancellor's judgment also included a division of marital property and future interests in the husband's retirement and pension plans.

  • The court, en banc, affirmed in part and reversed in part. 
  • The court adopted guidelines for the equitable division of marital property and remanded for a re-evaluation of the marital division, which included the wife's interests in the retirement and pension plans. 
  • The court affirmed the awards for divorce and custody. 
  • The court held that the charge of adultery was established by clear and convincing evidence and that the chancellor's finding that the husband was morally unfit to be a parent was not an abuse of discretion.
The court affirmed the granting of a divorce to the wife, together with custody and support of the minor child. The court adopted guidelines to aid chancellors in the division of marital property under the equitable property division method, reversed the award of marital assets, and remanded to the chancery court to re-evaluate the property division in light of the guidelines.

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