PAULA P. FORD APPELLANT
JOHN S. FORD III APPELLEE
FROM MASON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE STOCKTON B. WOOD, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 14-CI-00235
BEFORE: JONES, KRAMER, AND K. THOMPSON, JUDGES.
P. Ford ("Paula") appeals from several orders of
the Mason Circuit Court rendered in connection with the
dissolution of her marriage to John S. Ford III
("John"). Paula asserts the trial court erred when
it refused to set aside a separation agreement she negotiated
with John during a court-ordered mediation, ordered the
separation agreement incorporated into the parties'
dissolution decree even though it was unconscionable, and
later denied her CR59.05 motions to set aside the judgment
(incorporating the agreement) without allowing her to present
additional evidence at a hearing. Following our review of the
record and all applicable legal authority, we affirm the
trial court's order incorporating the parties'
settlement agreement into the final dissolution decree over
Paula's objection. We decline to review any issues
associated with the trial court's denial of Paula's
CR 59.05 motion to alter, amend or vacate because orders
denying CR 59.05 motions are interlocutory and not subject to
thirty years of marriage, John filed a petition for divorce
from Paula on September 9, 2014. Shortly thereafter, Paula,
who resides in Colorado, sent correspondence to the trial
court indicating that she had been unable to hire an attorney
in Kentucky, but that she and John had agreed that he would
withdraw his petition for dissolution of marriage. Paula
indicated that she and John had reached an agreement on the
division of their real and personal property and would file
for legal separation sometime later. The trial court does not
appear to have taken any action on Paula's letter as
John's petition remained pending.
a year later, on August 21, 2015, John filed a motion to have
his petition referred to the Domestic Relations Commissioner
for a hearing on property division issues. John stated that
he and Paula had discussed several proposed settlements but
had been unable to reach an agreement. Both parties filed
preliminary verified disclosure statements, which
demonstrated that, in addition to the parties'
significant marital assets, each had substantial non-marital
assets. The trial court entered a status quo order on
December 16, 2015, and referred the parties to mediation.
parties accompanied by their respective legal counsel
participated in mediation on April 19, 2016. Despite owning
significant marital and non-marital property, the parties did
not have any appraisals of their residential and commercial
real property performed to aid in dividing their property at
the mediation. Instead, John and Paula relied on their own
estimates of property values. At the time of mediation, the
parties estimated the total value of their major marital
assets to be $1, 585, 390, comprised as follows:
1.Real property located at 1315-1337 U.S. 68 S, Maysville,
KY, (the "Southgate Plaza") with an estimated fair
market value of $610, 390;
2. Real property located at 635 Larimer Street, Steamboat
Springs, CO (the "Steamboat Property"), with an
estimated fair market value of $700, 000;
3.A fifty-percent interest in real property located at 1910
Old Washington, with an estimated value of $165, 000; and
4. A marital Roth IRA, with a value of $110, 000.
mediation appeared to be successful, as a handwritten
Mediation Agreement Order (the "Agreement") was
filed of record on April 22, 2016. The Agreement was signed by
Paula, John and their respective counsel. The Agreement
stated as follows:
1. The parties shall exchange copies of their last will and
testament and make no changes thereto without notice to the
2. [John] shall make any financial [power of attorney] only
to his sister, brother in law, or Tom Duke.
3. Each party shall keep the vehicles in their name ([John]
2004 Ford Ranger and 2006 Nissan) ([Paula] 2004 Volvo, 2002
4. [Paula] shall receive the [Steamboat Property].
5.[Paula] shall receive her [non-marital] Schwabb [sic]
6. [John] shall receive the Roth IRA and the four non-marital
Schwab accounts in his name.
7. [John] shall receive Southgate Plaza; 1910 Old Washington,
Maysville, KY; all interest in Ford Acre's [sic] Farm and
Carmel St. LLC; and Perry Place Subdivision.
8. In exchange for marital equity, [John] shall pay to
[Paula] $135, 000 ...