Janet Charlene Hooberry v. Ronald Scott Hooberry
Wife filed a complaint against Husband seeking a legal separation or, in the alternative, an absolute divorce. Husband counter-claimed for a divorce. Both Wife and Husband alleged the other had engaged in marital misconduct. The trial court awarded Wife a legal separation for two years, ordered Husband to pay Wife $1,500 per month as alimony during that period, and divided the marital estate between the parties. The trial court refused Wife’s request for attorney’s fees. Wife appealed, claiming the trial court erred by failing to award her alimony in futuro, a larger portion of the marital estate, and her attorney’s fees. We affirm the trial court’s judgment in all respects. First, the statute addressing legal separation directs the trial court to make a final and complete adjudication of the parties’ support rights following the parties’ legal separation when the court awards the parties an absolute divorce. Thus, Wife’s request for alimony in futuro is premature. Second, Wife failed to show the court’s division of marital property was inconsistent with the factors set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4121(c) or was not supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Third, Wife failed to establish that the trial court abused its discretion in denying her request for attorney’s fees.