Washington County judge erred in calculating money for former wife, court rules

Posted: November 9, 2017 at 1:04 a.m.

Washington County sign.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Court of Appeals today sent a contentious divorce case back to a Washington County Circuit judge, saying she awarded too much alimony and child support.

It's the third time Owen Kelly has appealed an order concerning alimony to his former wife, Mandy Kelly, to either the Arkansas Supreme Court or Court of Appeals.

Owen Kelly argued in the latest appeal that Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor erred when she refused to change a finding that Mandy Kelly had an established need for more than $10,000 a month. The figure was not Mandy's individual need, but rather an estimate of the collective needs of Mandy and the couple's two children, according to the appeal.

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"Mandy admitted the figures she set forth in her affidavit of financial means for food, clothing, and vacations were based on a family of four, not her current family of three, and our court ordered that those figures be reduced accordingly," the judges added in their opinion. "Clearly, that support order did not consider only Mandy's personal financial needs, but rather the financial needs of a three-person household."

The appeals court judges ordered Taylor to enter an order modifying and clarifying the support order to reflect what part of the total payment is for child support and what portion is alimony.

Owen Kelly also contended he had overpaid Mandy Kelly for almost three years and should be reimbursed.

The appeals court judges found Owen Kelly had overpaid to the tune of almost $200,000 between April 2014 and December 2016. Judges ordered Mandy Kelly to repay overages from June 2016, when the appeals court last ruled on the case, to December 2016. The amount was set at about $42,000 and will be reimbursed by giving Owen Kelly a $1,000 per month credit against his alimony obligation until the amount is paid in full.

NW News on 11/09/2017