Coursey v. CourseyAnnotate this Case
The trial court issued an order finding appellant-Husband in willful contempt of the parties’ final order of divorce after a jury trial. Based on the jury’s verdict regarding the division of property, the divorce decree required Husband to pay appellee Wife one-third (1/3) of the gross of his pension funds until Wife remarried, though a portion of the pension funds payable to Wife was to be withheld for the payment of taxes. The jury declined to award alimony to Wife. Neither party appealed the jury’s verdict or the final decree of divorce. Wife moved for contempt when appellant failed to pay her the proportionate increase in the pension funds. Shortly after Wife filed her motion for contempt, Husband filed a motion for “termination of alimony” because he alleged Wife remarried and because he alleged he made overpayments of the pension funds to Wife. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the trial court found Husband in willful contempt of the divorce decree, concluded Husband owed certain pension payments, and ordered Husband to repay the amount owed in monthly installments. In addition, the trial court awarded Wife attorney fees. The Supreme Court granted Husband’s application for discretionary review to determine whether the trial court’s final ruling was in error. On appeal, Husband maintains that the payments at issue were not marital property, but, rather, constituted periodic alimony; and, because the jury expressly denied alimony to Wife, Husband contended he did not owe Wife and could not be held in contempt. The Supreme Court found no reversible error in the trial court's judgment and affirmed.