FROM MEADE CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE BRUCE T. BUTLER, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 06-CI-00095
FOR APPELLANT: Charles M. Meers Vickie Masden Arrowood
FOR APPELLEE: Douglas E. Miller Radcliff, Kentucky.
BEFORE: COMBS, JOHNSON, AND D. LAMBERT, JUDGES.
Priest ("Belinda") appeals from the February 26,
2016 Order of the Meade Circuit Court, awarding Belinda a
portion of Kurt Priest's ("Kurt") military
retirement pay. After reviewing the record in conjunction
with the applicable legal authorities, we AFFIRM IN PART,
REVERSE IN PART, AND REMAND.
and Belinda were married on March 12, 1988. At that time,
Kurt was serving in the military reserve. On February 20,
1990, Kurt enlisted in the active military. On December 9,
1998, Belinda and Kurt divorced. At that time the court could
not divide Kurt's retirement as he hadn't yet retired
from the military. Kurt eventually retired from the military
on September 1, 2012. At that time Belinda moved the court
for her marital share of Kurt's retirement. The court
entered an order on January 2, 2014, establishing
Belinda's portion of Kurt's retirement pay. That
order was appealed to this Court and an opinion issued on
April 24, 2015, which reversed and remanded this matter to
the trial court stating:
While the DFSA pamphlet as a whole has not been adopted in
Kentucky, the Snodgrass court analyzed DFSA and
interpreted that section IV(c) is consistent with the
longstanding Poe case and, thus the pamphlet section
IV(c) may be properly considered in the division of military
pensions in Kentucky. As the Court herein did not make the
hypothetical calculations mandated by Poe, or if it
did, failed to make specific findings, this matter is
remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Priest v. Priest, No. 2014-CA-000148-MR, 2015 WL
1880624 (Ky. App. Apr. 24, 2015).
result, in accordance with our previous Opinion, the matter
was sent back, resulting in the trial court's
recalculating the retirement benefits due Belinda based upon
the requirements of the Defense Finance and Accounting
Service ("DFSA") as outlined in Poe v.
Poe, 711 S.W.2d 849, 850 (Ky. App. 1986) and
Snodgrass v. Snodgrass, 297 S.W.3d 878, 890-891 (Ky.
App. 2009). On February 26, 2016, the court entered an order
containing findings of fact and conclusions of law, granting
Belinda 6.25% of Kurt's current retirement or $130.16 per
month. The order used the DFSA hypothetical retired pay
calculation based upon the example set out in the DFSA pages
10-11. On March 7, 2016, Belinda filed a motion for
reconsideration. That motion was denied on July 28, 2016.
Belinda now appeals the orders of February 26, 2016, and July
reviewing a case on appeal in which a prior appellate court
has ruled, we apply the law-of-the-case doctrine. If an
appellate court has passed on a legal question and remanded
the case to the court below for further proceedings, the
legal questions thus determined by the appellate court will
not be differently determined on a subsequent appeal in the
same case. Ragland v. DiGiuro, 352 S.W.3d 908, 913
(Ky. App. 2010) (quoting Inman v. Inman, 648 S.W.2d
847, 849 (Ky. 1982)).
issue of the division of marital assets is reviewed under an
abuse of discretion standard. Herron v. Herron, 573
S.W.2d 342, 344 (Ky. 1978). The test for abuse of discretion
is whether the trial court's decision was
"arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, or unsupported by