Dennis v. Dennis (Mississippi 2017)

No. 2016-CA-00425-SCT (Miss. 2017)
August 2017

A person who voluntarily agrees to pay support may be held to that obligation under a quasicontractual theory. In this case, the great-grandparents were the custodians of a child. The great-grandparents subsequently divorced and in the settlement agreement, the step great-grandfather, who had no biological connection to the child, agreed to pay child support. Several years later, he petitioned the court to stop the obligation as the child would no longer see him, and he had no statutory obligation to pay support. The trial court denied his petition, finding that he voluntarily agreed to pay support as part of a settlement agreement. The appellate court upheld the denial finding that the step great-grandfather received a bargained for exchange, a divorce in exchange for the agreement to pay support. The appellate court further found the child’s refusal to see him was not extreme conduct that would justify terminating the support.