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  • Monday, April 16, 2018


    Husband and Wife entered into a bullet-pointed informal mediated agreement. Wife signed based on the mediators representations that a tax credit Wife would receive in the agreement offset the difference in Wife’s valuation and Husband’s valuation of his businesses. When Husband’s attorney put together a formal agreement, Wife refused to sign as “the mediator’s assurances regarding the value of the tax exemption were not accurate, and that the separation agreement addressed issues not previously discussed or agreed upon.” Husband motioned the Family Court to enforce the mediated agreement. After the hearing, the Family Court granted Husband’s motion and “ordered the mediated agreement incorporated by reference into the decree.”


    Wife appealed arguing the mediated agreement was unenforceable either because “the misconduct of her attorney rendered the result of mediation...

  • Monday, April 16, 2018



    Mother and Father had significant post-decree litigation regarding child support, tax exemptions, and uncovered medical expenses which ultimately resulted in a ruling that modified the allocation of dependent-child tax exemptions allowing Father to claim two children. Mother appealed arguing that the Family Court erred in modifying the tax exemptions without making specific findings.


    The Court of Appeals affirmed the Family Court holding that Adams-Smyrichinsky controls absent an agreement between the parties. As in this case, there was a prior agreement by the parties, the Family Court looked at the totality of the circumstances and made an equitable and reasonable decision to allow Father to keep the tax exemptions for two children, and it was supported by sufficient findings.


    Digested by...

  • Monday, April 16, 2018


    Family Court granted Father’s request for DVO against Mother on behalf of himself and child, after finding Mother’s boyfriend was a physical threat to child. Mother appealed arguing the DVO could not stand because it was her boyfriend, not Mother “who committed the alleged domestic violence against Child.”


    The Court of Appeals affirmed the Family Court holding that Mother’s “inaction in the face of harm inflicted on her child . . . is tantamount to abuse.” In Kentucky, parents, or those acting as parents, have a duty to protect children. Moreover, in this case, Mother herself in text messages “directly implicated Boyfriend in physically abusing Child.” Thus, the DVO was properly entered against Mother and there was enough evidence to support the entry of the Order.


     Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell

  • Monday, April 16, 2018


    Family Court entered a DVO against Husband citing Husband’s actions in discarding former Wife’s personal property from an abandoned trailer as support. Husband appealed arguing, “none of [former Wife’s] allegations rose to the level of domestic violence under the definition contained in KRS 403.270.” The Court of Appeals agreed holding that “no evidence of violence or harm was presented, nor was any testimony elicited regarding infliction of fear of imminent injury, abuse or assault.”

    Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell

  • Monday, April 2, 2018



    In a dissolution of marriage proceeding with complex assets, Husband appealed on a variety of asset classification, valuation, and division issues.


    Husband first argues that “the trial court improperly classified as marital the encumbered funds in his employee incentive program.” Husband’s Employee Transition Program (“ETP”) work incentive consisted of forgivable promissory notes. The loans matured over nine years and were forgiven at intervals as long as Husband stayed with the business. The forgiven ETP debt appeared on Husband’s paycheck as income. The trial court found that the ETP funds were marital and the total bonus amount should be treated as marital to the extent that it vested during the marriage.


    The Court of Appeals disagreed holding that the trial court erred because the ETP fund value was “offset by the outstanding balance...

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