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Johnson v. Johnson
Mississippi Supreme Court
650 So. 2d 1281 (1994)
Laura Jane Smalley Johnson (Jane) (plaintiff) and Kendall Wayne Johnson (Wayne) (defendant) separated in 1990 and divorced in 1991 after 30 years of marriage. At the time of the divorce, Wayne was a 50-year-old corporate executive who earned $88,450 per year. Wayne also had a vested employee savings plan, an employee stock ownership plan, and an employer-funded retirement plan. Jane was a 50-year-old homemaker who had cared for the couples’ three children. During the marriage, Jane had inherited $53,200 in cash and certificates of deposit, a house worth $40,000, timber land valued at $98,000, and timber worth $95,000. Jane received $153,000 in proceeds from timber cuttings, which Wayne used to pay family expenses, to buy a car titled in his name, and to add to his savings account. Wayne reimbursed Jane for $66,000 of this amount. Without classifying the parties’ assets as marital or nonmarital or explaining its equitable division of the marital property, the court granted Jane sole use of the marital home and ordered Wayne to pay the mortgage, among other things. The court gave Wayne the option to stop paying the mortgage on the marital home after the minor children reached the age of majority, provided he conveyed all of his equity in the property to Jane. Wayne appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Prather, J.)
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