Hoover v. HooverAnnotate this Case
This appeal stems from a divorce action filed by appellant Kathryn Brookfield Hoover (Wife) against Richard Craig Hoover (Husband). Wife requested a jury trial, and the court bifurcated the proceedings, first hearing the issue of child custody in a bench trial, and reserving issues of equitable division of property, alimony, and child support for a jury trial. After the bench trial on the child custody issue, the trial court issued a court-ordered parenting plan which granted joint physical and legal custody of the minor
children. An amended parenting plan order was entered, and another order, “2nd Order Amending June 15, 2012 Parenting Plan” was entered January 11, 2013. Before the jury trial on the remaining issues started, the parties executed a settlement agreement resolving the financial issues in the case, and the trial court entered a final judgment and decree of divorce on February 14, 2013. In addition to referencing the settlement agreement, the final judgment referenced the three orders relating to the parenting plan and stated these orders “are . . . incorporated herein and made a part of this Final Judgment and Decree.” Wife filed a motion for new trial of the custody issues within thirty days of the date the final order and decree was entered. The trial court granted Husband’s motion to dismiss the motion for new trial, finding that Wife’s motion for new trial was untimely since it sought a new trial on the court-ordered parenting plan and was thus filed more than thirty days after the “entry of judgment” on the court-ordered parenting plan. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s order dismissing the motion for new trial as having been untimely filed.