FROM JESSAMINE CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JEFF MOSS, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 10-CI-01384
FOR APPELLANT: M. Shea Chaney Lexington, Kentucky
FOR APPELLEE: John E. Reynolds Nicholasville, Kentucky
BEFORE: COMBS, JOHNSON, AND D. LAMBERT, JUDGES.
Dixon ("Karen") appeals the September 12, 2015
Order of the Jessamine Circuit Court, Family Division,
denying her claim for past due maintenance and child support.
Having reviewed the record and the applicable law, we AFFIRM
the decision of the court.
February 18, 2013, the parties were granted a Decree of
Dissolution of Marriage, which adopted their Marital
Settlement Agreement ("Agreement"). As part of the
Agreement, Charles Dixon ("Charles") agreed to pay
Karen $1189.60 per month for child support. In addition, he
was to pay $800 per month spousal support until May 1, 2016.
The Agreement provided that Karen was responsible for payment
of the mortgage, but provided that the house was to be
immediately listed for sale with Karen to receive any surplus
in the house sale.
in March 2013, rather than pay Karen directly, Charles began
paying the mortgage on the house. While both parties
acknowledge that the mortgage payments were more than the
child support and maintenance payments combined, Karen
initially objected to this payment arrangement. Regardless,
Charles continued making mortgage payments in lieu of paying
her child support and maintenance directly until July 2015,
when the marital residence was sold.
2014, the oldest child reached majority and the court issued
an Order Modifying Child Support reducing the total amount of
child support due Karen. The Order also states, "There
exists no past due support from Respondent to
Petitioner." In October 2014, Karen submitted an
application for child support services with the Cabinet for
Health and Family Services seeking a garnishment of
Charles' wages. On the attached Income Withholding for
Support form, the form states there is no past-due child
support arrears. On October 7, 2014, the county attorney
filed an action in the Jessamine Circuit Court for the
purpose of protecting its interest in receiving child support
arrearages in the amount of $19, 458.49 as requested by
Karen. The matter was subsequently transferred to the family
court division and no further action was taken. In July 2015,
the house was sold and Charles stopped making mortgage
payments. Per court order, Karen vacated the marital
residence and signed a quit claim deed transferring her
interest in the property to Charles, who now resides in the
home. Both children have now reached the age of emancipation
and no further child support is due, and as of May 1, 2016,
maintenance payments ended pursuant to the terms of the
issue of child support arrearages was not addressed by either
party until the August 23, 2016 hearing before the court and
in the court's subsequent order of September 12, 2016. In
the order, the court found that Charles was not entitled to
any offset for amounts he paid for the obligation of the wife
on the mortgage; that there was no maintenance or child
support arrearage owed by Charles to Karen; and that Karen is
barred by the doctrine of laches from asserting a claim for
past due maintenance and child support.
from that order that Karen now appeals. On November 10, 2016,
we designated this matter an expedited appeal thus no
prehearing statement was required.
review child support and maintenance decisions only for an
abuse of discretion. Commonwealth, Cabinet for Health and
Family Services v. Ivy, 353 S.W.3d 324, 329 (Ky. 2011).
An abuse of discretion occurs where the court's decision
is unreasonable, unfair, or unsupported by ...