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Abril v. Mobley

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

October 24, 2014

Beatriz Helena Leal Abril
v.
Gregory Wade Mobley

Released for Publication June 17, 2015.

Appeal from Pike Circuit Court. (DR-13-900035). Trial Judge: Jeffrey W. Kelley.

For Appellant: Joel Lee Williams, Troy.

For Appellee: Larry C. Jarrell, Troy.

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge. Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 698

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.

Beatriz Helena Leal Abril (" the wife" ) appeals from a judgment of the Pike Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) divorcing her from Gregory Wade Mobley (" the husband" ) and ordering the husband to pay child support. The trial court also ordered the husband to pay the wife rehabilitative periodic alimony in the sum of $1,000 per month for 36 months.

The record indicates the following relevant facts. At the time of the trial on September 26, 2013, the husband was employed in Afghanistan as a licensed aircraft mechanic for DynCorp, and his gross income was approximately $20,000 per month. The husband testified that his contract with DynCorp would end on November 2, 2013, and that he was not going to renew his contract because, he said, he was planning to return to the United States to help take care of his ailing mother. The husband testified that he had already tendered his resignation with DynCorp and that he would not be returning to Afghanistan after his contract expired. The husband further testified that he expected to be able to earn between $16 and $25 per hour working as an aircraft mechanic in the United States.

Based on the husband's testimony, in its October 18, 2013, judgment, the trial court found that it would be " manifestly unjust" to base the husband's child-support obligation on the income the husband was currently earning as a contract worker in Afghanistan and instead based the husband's child-support obligation on his ability to earn an estimated $25 per hour for a 40-hour week. The trial court noted that the husband's child-support obligation could be recalculated " should the husband return to work as a contract worker overseas."

On November 15, 2013, the wife filed with the trial court a motion for a new trial or, in the alternative, to alter, amend, or vacate the October 18, 2013, judgment. The trial court held a hearing on February 19, 2014. However, after the hearing, the trial court determined that it no longer had jurisdiction, noting that the wife's motion had been denied by operation of law because it had not been ruled on within 90 days. See Rule 59.1, Ala. R. Civ. P. The wife timely appealed the trial court's judgment.

The wife contends that the trial court erred in making its determination of child support because, she said, the level of income attributed to the husband is contrary to the evidence. She contends that the evidence shows that, at the time of the trial, the husband was making approximately $20,000 per month and that the trial court should have based the husband's child-support obligation on that income,

Page 699

as opposed to basing the obligation on the amount the husband speculated he would earn when he returned ...


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