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Jeanne M Hannah

On September 14th, Diana Skaggs' Divorce Law Journal blogged a Kentucky case in which a similar result on appeal was reached.

In Bailey v Bailey, ___S.W. 3d ___(Ky. App. 2007)the COA held that the trial court erred in not enforcing the parties' separation agreement according to its express terms, and in applying equitable principles in reaching its decision.

The digest of Bailey v Bailey may be read here.


I represented the wife on appeal. One interesting aspect of this case was that the trial court in proceedings by the wife to enforce the lien provisions of the judgment via a judical sale, sua sponte invalidated the priority status of the lien and thereby rewrote the parties' agreement.

The trial judge was trying to solve what he viewed as a practical impediment to the husband's ability to pay his obligations. But he did so without properly considering that the parties negotiated the agreement with full knowledge that the priority status of the lien could impair the husband's ability to get a traditional loan using the liened property as collateral.

The lesson here is that a deal is a deal, whether or not the deal imposes practical impediments for one party or the other.

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