Short v. Short

William Andrew Short (Andy) and Kathryn Taylor Short were divorced in 2007. As part of the divorce judgment, the parties entered into a property, child-support, and child custody agreement stipulating that Andy would pay child support until the child began kindergarten; thereafter, he would pay fifteen percent of his adjusted gross income. In 2011, Kathryn filed a complaint for contempt, alleging that Andy had failed to make child-support payments. Andy filed a counter-complaint for custody and to modify child support. Andy alleged a material change in circumstances because of a significant reduction in his adjusted gross income, requiring a new child-support calculation. The chancellor found that no material change in circumstances had occurred and ordered Andy to continue paying the minimum requirement of child support, pursuant to the original child-support agreement. Andy appealed, arguing that the chancellor had disregarded statutory child-support guidelines, that the child-support provision in the parties’ agreement violated Mississippi law, and that the chancellor had erred in calculating Andy’s adjusted gross income. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding no error. Andy filed a petition for writ of certiorari, arguing (among other things) that the Court of Appeals had failed to address his argument that the automatic child-support-calculation clause violated Mississippi law. The Supreme Court found that the chancellor erred in calculating Andy’s monthly income during his determination of whether a material change in circumstances existed. Further, the chancellor’s ruling erroneously indicated that the parties’ child-support agreement was nonmodifiable. Therefore, the judgments of both the Court of Appeals and the trial court were reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings. View "Short v. Short" on Justia Law