Copeland v. Copeland (Mississippi 2017)

No. 2015-CA-01527-SCT (Miss. 2017)
August 2017

A court can terminate child support when the children’s clear and extreme behavior makes the parent-child relationship impossible. The father, the non-custodial parent in this case, petitioned the chancery court to award him custody of his children and/or for other general relief. The chancery court denied the modification but found the children’s behavior toward their father warranted terminating support. The children testified and the father presented emails and texts from the children that showed their animosity towards him. The mother appealed arguing that Court granted relief not requested, the children’s feelings about their father were present at the time of the divorce, and that the evidence didn’t support the decision. The appellate court disagreed. The court found the prayer for relief addressed child support sufficiently or, even so,  the court could have granted relief under the general prayer. The mother’s other issues on appeal also had no merit. The children’s testimony, emails, and texts showed a marked increase in the children’s hostility towards their father since the divorce.