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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 27, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Sarah Richter Perky, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christina Lee Cain-Swope.

Attorneys 2:

Michael K. Parsley, D. Scott Parsley, and Joshua G. Strickland, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert David Swope.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

In this divorce action, the wife appeals, contending the trial court erred in calculating her child support obligation by failing to impute income to the husband and by not deviating downward from the child support guidelines for the private school tuition and expenses she pays. The wife also contends the trial court erred in awarding the husband alimony in futuro in the amount of $2,400, and ordering her to pay $10,000 of the husband's attorney's fees. The wife further contends the trial judge made statements during opening arguments regarding the issue of alimony that indicated bias. As for child support, the wife is correct in stating that the trial court did not consider a deviation in child support for extraordinary educational expenses; however, the wife did not request a deviation and the parties agreed that the wife is not required to pay for private school tuition after the divorce. Accordingly, we find no error with the trial court not considering a deviation based on the possibility that the wife may or may not incur extraordinary educational expenses in the future. As for the amount of alimony to be paid, the trial court's findings of fact concerning the wife's ability to pay and the husband's need for alimony fail to satisfy the mandatory requirements of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 52.01. Therefore, we vacate the award of alimony in the amount of $2,400 per month and remand for the trial court to make findings of fact and state separately its conclusions of law concerning the wife's ability to pay and the husband's need for alimony, and direct the entry of a judgment setting the appropriate amount of alimony in futuro. We affirm the trial court in all other respects.