Pettersen v. Pettersen (Mississippi 2018)

No. 2017-CA-00089-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2018)
October 2018

The court has discretion to set support for the time period before a divorce is filed. If support is set, it can only go back to one year before the filing of the action. The parents in this case filed for divorce. They had three children, two of whom were emancipated, and one who was 19 at the time of filing. The court entered a temporary order granting the parents joint custody but did not set support. By the time the final decree was entered, the child was almost 21. The chancery court declined to set support for him. The father appealed the order arguing that the court should have set support for the duration of the divorce action. He also argued she should have been ordered the mother to pay support and part of the college expenses for the year before the complaint was filed. The Court of Appeals upheld the order. It found that that that the statute gives courts discretion with respect to awarding support for the time period before an action is filed. It also found the father didn’t argue about the lack of support set in the temporary order.