from Wilcox Circuit Court (DR-16-900005)
Ted Kelly ("the husband") appeals from an order of
the Wilcox Circuit Court ("the trial court")
entered in divorce proceedings between the husband and
Chesley Bedwell Kelly ("the wife"). The husband
argues that the order improperly awarded certain property to
the wife and that the child-support award contained in the
order does not comply with Rule 32, Ala. R. Jud. Admin.
addressing the husband's arguments, however, we must
determine whether the husband has appealed from a final
judgment and, thus, whether this court has jurisdiction to
consider the husband's appeal. See Johnson v.
Johnson, 835 So.2d 1032, 1034 (Ala. Civ. App.
2002)("[T]he question whether a judgment is final is a
jurisdictional question."), and Nunn v. Baker,
518 So.2d 711, 712 (Ala. 1987) ("[J]urisdictional
matters are of such magnitude that we take notice of them at
any time and do so even ex mero motu.").
facts pertinent to the disposition of this issue are as
follows. The wife filed a complaint for a divorce on February
29, 2016, after the husband had been charged with two
felonies, and the husband filed an answer denying the
allegations in the wife's complaint. On May 5, 2016,
after a hearing, the trial court entered an interlocutory
order, based upon the agreement of the parties, that, among
other things, ordered the husband to pay $600 each month to
the wife as child-support for the parties' three
November 21, 2016, by the agreement of the parties, the trial
court entered an order in which it divorced the parties and
ordered, among other things, that the May 5, 2016, order
relating to child custody and child support
"shall remain in force and effect until the criminal
case[s] pending against the [husband] ... [are] resolved or
disposed of. This Court reserves the jurisdiction to make any
modifications necessary to the Temporary Orders entered into
and attached hereto while the criminal charges are pending
and further retains jurisdiction to make a final
determination regarding custody, visitation and child support
upon the conclusion of the criminal cases referred to
March 20, 2017, the husband pleaded guilty to a felony charge
and was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison. On April 4,
2017, the trial court held a trial related to the division of
the parties' property at which both parties testified.
5, 2017, the trial court entered what it styled as a
"Final Order" in which it terminated the
husband's visitation with the children and divided the
parties' property. The July 5, 2017, order did not award
child support to the wife or otherwise reference the
husband's child-support obligation. The order stated that
"[a]ll provisions of the Judgment of Divorce entered by
the Court on November 21, 2016, which are not modified by the
provisions of this Order shall remain in full force and
effect." The November 21, 2016, order expressly stated
that the husband owed a temporary child-support obligation
"until the criminal case pending against the [husband]
... is resolved or disposed of, " and the trial court
expressly stated it would make a "final
determination" regarding child support upon the
disposition of the criminal charges against the husband.
10, 2017, the husband filed a motion seeking to alter, amend,
or vacate the July 5, 2017, order. In his motion, the husband
stated, among other things: "[T]he judgment of divorce
fails to set child support pursuant to the Alabama Child
Support Guidelines." That same day, the trial court
entered the following order: "MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL filed
by [the husband] is hereby PENDING. ... [The wife] has 10
days to respond and file the appropriate child support
guideline and income withholding." (Capitalization in
original.) On July 13, 2017, the husband filed in the trial
court a CS-42 Child-Support Guidelines form. The trial court
took no further action, and, on October 19, 2017, the husband
filed a notice of appeal to this court.
husband argues that the trial court's $600 monthly
child-support award must be reversed for noncompliance with
Rule 32, Ala. R. Jud. Admin. That temporary award, however,
terminated upon the resolution of the criminal charges
against the husband. In its November 21, 2016, order, the
trial court expressly reserved jurisdiction to later make a
"final determination" regarding child support after
the disposition of the criminal charges against the husband.
In the July 5, 2017, order, the trial court did not
determine, or otherwise address, the husband's
"A final judgment is one that '"disposes of all
claims or the rights and liabilities of all
parties."' Wright[ v. Wright], 882 So.2d
[361, ] 363 [(Ala. Civ. App. 2003)](quoting Carlisle v.
Carlisle, 768 So.2d 976, 977 (Ala. Civ. App. 2000)). In
Anderson v. Anderson, 899 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Ala.
Civ. App. 2004), this court stated that '[w]here a party
has requested child support and the trial court's
purported judgment contains no conclusive assessment of the
child-support obligation, the trial court has not completely
adjudicated the matters in controversy between the
N.H. v. T.A.P., 963 So.2d 97, 99 (Ala. Civ. App.
the order from which the husband has appealed does not
conclusively determine his child-support obligation, the
judgment is not final, and we must, therefore, dismiss the
husband's appeal. See N.H., 963 So.2d at 99 (citing
Hubbard v. Hubbard, 935 So.2d 1191, 1192 (Ala. Civ.
App. 2006)) ("The reviewing court, on a ...