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MARTIN v. MARTIN



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MARTIN

v.

MARTIN


NOVEMBER 16, 1999

Record No. 0129-99-4

RANDALL ALLAN MARTIN

v.

SUSAN ANN MARTIN

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

Richard B. Potter, Judge

Present: Judges Bray, Annunziata and Frank

MEMORANDUM OPINION* PER CURIAM

(T. James Binder; Tate & Bywater, Ltd., on
brief), for appellant.

(Linda M. Boykin; Legal Services of Northern
Virginia, Inc., on brief), for appellee.


Randall Martin (Martin) appeals the decision of
the circuit court finding that Martin owed $33,015.05 in
outstanding pendente lite child and spousal support. Martin
contends that the amount of the arrearage is erroneous, based
upon the trial court’s previous finding in an order dated August
14, 1998, that he owed $23,672.99 in back child and spousal
support. Upon reviewing the record and the briefs of the parties,
we conclude that this appeal is without merit. Accordingly, we
summarily affirm the decision of the trial court. See Rule
5A:27.

The evidence on child and spousal support was
heard by the trial court.

Under familiar principles we view [the] evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most
favorable to the prevailing party below. Where, as here, the
court hears the evidence ore tenus, its finding is
entitled to great weight and will not be disturbed on appeal
unless plainly wrong or without evidence to support it.

Martin v. Pittsylvania County Dep’t of
Social Servs.
, 3 Va. App. 15, 20, 348 S.E.2d 13, 16 (1986).
The record on appeal contains neither a transcript of the hearing
before the trial court nor a written statement of facts. The
trial court made specific findings of fact in the final decree
from which Martin appeals. "An appellate court must dispose
of the case upon the record and cannot base its decision upon
appellant’s petition or brief, or statements of counsel in open
court. We may act only upon facts contained in the record." Smith
v. Commonwealth
, 16 Va. App. 630, 635, 432 S.E.2d 2, 6
(1993).

[O]n appeal the judgment of the lower court is
presumed to be correct and the burden is on the appellant to
present to us a sufficient record from which we can determine
whether the lower court has erred in the respect complained of.

Justis v. Young, 202 Va. 631, 632, 119
S.E.2d 255, 256-57 (1961). The factual findings in the decree
provide a sufficient record for us to determine the merits of
Martin’s appeal.

In the final decree, the trial court found
that, as of November 25, 1998, the child support arrearage was
$25,634.00 and the spousal support arrearage was $7,381.05. The
trial court reduced child support from $1,300 per month to $502,
effective September 1, 1998, but increased spousal support from
$300 per month, formerly subject to a $170 per month credit, to
$340 per month until Martin paid the balance of $2,342.78 due on
a vehicle awarded to his former wife. Although the trial court
did not set out in detail its calculation of the support
arrearages, there is evidence in the record supporting the trial
court’s findings, including its retroactive modification of
support.

In this appeal, Martin failed to direct us with
specificity to evidence in the record supporting his alternative
calculation of the amount due. His assertion that no more than
$3,306 in support was due following the trial court’s calculation
of the arrearage in the August 14, 1998 contempt order through
November 1998 is not supported by the record. Martin also failed
to consider interest due on the arrearage. Martin’s bare
recitation of error, without any reference to evidence produced
in the record, is insufficient. "Statements unsupported by
argument, authority, or citations to the record do not merit
appellate consideration. We will not search the record for errors
in order to interpret appellant’s contention and correct
deficiencies in a brief." Buchanan v. Buchanan, 14
Va. App. 53, 56, 415 S.E.2d 237, 239 (1992).

Accordingly, the decision of the circuit court
is summarily affirmed.

Affirmed.

* Pursuant to Code Sect. 17.1-413,
recodifying Code Sect. 17-116.010, this opinion is not
designated for publication.

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