Setting aside a marital settlement agreement - published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

Ford v. Ford

 

Trial court refused to set aside a handwritten Mediation Agreement Order signed by the parties and their attorneys and incorporated into the dissolution decree. The Agreement was never formalized into a typewritten document. The parties did not have any appraisals of their residential and commercial real property performed to aid in dividing up their property at mediation and instead relied on their own estimates of property values. Under the terms of the Agreement, Wife received 53% of the value of the parties’ marital assets.

 

Wife filed a motion requesting the trial court to vacate the Agreement and to declare the Agreement unconscionable. Wife also filed a CR 59.05 motion to alter, amend or vacate the trial court’s Order. The Trial Court denied Wife’s CR 59.05 motion without holding a full evidentiary hearing where she could present new evidence and testimony regarding appraised values of the real property.

 

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err when it ruled on Wife’s CR 59.05 motion without first holding a full evidentiary hearing. The Court of Appeals reasoned that the value of the real estate was available for Wife to discover well before the Trial Court entered its final judgment. The Court of appeals also found that the Trial Court did not err by finding that the agreement was not unconscionable as Wife received 53% of the parties’ marital estate under the terms of the Agreement.

 

Digested by: Emily T. Cecconi