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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 16, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James L. Weatherly, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph Robert Wheeler.

Attorneys 2:

Andree Kahn Blumstein, Marlene Eskind Moses, Marissa Moses Russ, and April N. Watkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Elizabeth Breckinridge Wheeler.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

Following a 26-year marriage, Wife was granted a divorce, designated the primary residential parent of their children and given sole decision making authority for the minor children’s education, health and medical care, and extracurricular activities; Husband was ordered to pay child support, pendente lite support of $7,000 per month, post-divorce support at the same rate as pendente lite support until the marital residence was sold, transitional alimony of $3,600 for 48 months commencing upon the sale of the marital residence, and $25,000 of Wife’s attorneys’ fees. The parties’ separate and marital assets were classified, and the marital assets and debts were divided. Husband appeals, challenging Wife’s designation as the sole decision making authority for the children’s educational and extracurricular activities, the amount of Wife’s income for purposes of child support, the awards for pendente lite support, the indefinite award of post-divorce support and the additional award of transitional alimony for 48 months. Husband also challenges the classification and division of the marital estate, including holding him liable for one-half of the $335,000 home equity line of credit debt, most of which was incurred during the pendency of the divorce, and the award of attorneys’ fees to Wife. We have determined that Wife is not entitled to receive post-divorce support of $7,000 per month in addition to the award of transitional alimony of $3,600 for a term of 48 months; therefore, we reverse the indefinite post-divorce support award of $7,000 per month. We also modify the award of transitional alimony of $3,600 per month, reducing the term from 48 months to 24 months with the term commencing upon the entry of the Final Decree of Divorce. We affirm the trial court in all other respects. As for Wife’s request to recover the attorneys’ fees she incurred on appeal, we respectfully deny that request.