Kentucky has adopted a Family Court System separate from the district and circuit courts. The Family Courts hear the following types of cases:
• Child Support
• Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse
• Domestic Violence
• Parenting Schedules
• Termination of Parental Rights
In Kentucky the rules relating to Family Laws come from 1) Kentucky Case law, 2) Kentucky Revised Statutes, 3) Kentucky Administrative Regulations, 4) Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure, 5) any local rules of procedure that your county has adopted, 6) the Kentucky Family Court Rules of Practice and Procedure, 7) any local family court rules that your county has adopted, and 8) specific Federal Regulations (such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act). Complicating matters even further for Kentucky Residents is the fact that many of these laws change each year. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about the facts of your case and how they will be reviewed in your county, please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Some of the more common types of Family Law are listed below:
Adoption is a great option for many families. Three common forms of adoption are domestic adoptions, international adoptions, and step-parent adoptions. In any case the time and expense involved in the adoption process can come as quite a shock to parents considering one of these routes. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about your adoption options please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
An action for child support may be brought by a parent contributing substantially to the support of the child. There are generally two instances where a parent is entitled to child support. If the parent has Sole Custody or in Joint Custody, the parent that the child resides with a majority of the time (often referred to as Primary Residential Parent or primary Residence) is usually entitled to child support. It is possible to receive child support in other situations but you need to speak with an attorney about the details of your specific case. Kentucky has a formula for determining child support based on the salary of each parent, the costs of child care, and the cost of health insurance. Unless both parents agree to deviate from the guidelines the Court will not deviate unless the parent requesting the deviation can prove there are special circumstances warranting such a deviation. Once child support is established there are several ways payments can be arranged. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about establishing child support, modifying your current child support order, or enforcing your current child support order, please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Custody is the legal right to make decisions for your child(ren). It has little to do with how much time either parent spends with the child(ren). Kentucky only recognizes two forms of custody, Joint Custody and Sole Custody. Custody will be determined by the child’s best interest. The court will determine whether Joint Custody or Sole Custody is in the child’s best interest based on several factors. Many of those factors are listed in the Kentucky Revised Statute 403.270. Once a custody order is entered by a Court there are certain requirements that must be met before either parent can request a modification. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about establishing custody or modifying your current custody order, please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
When a person intentionally and willfully disobeys a court order they may be held in contempt. Common issues are failure to pay child support, failure to follow a property settlement agreement, and failure to follow a parenting schedule. Unfortunately the contempt process is not instantaneous. First an appropriate motion must be filed with the Court. The Court will then set a hearing. If the Court finds that the person disobeyed a court order, and that it was intentional and willful, the Judge may hold the person in contempt. As a punishment the Judge can order incarceration, monetary fines, attorney’s fees for the successful person, or a combination of all three. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about establishing custody or modifying your current custody order, please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse
When child protected services is contacted they conduct an investigation and if there are findings of dependency, abuse or neglect a case will be initiated against the alleged perpetrator. These cases involve the well being of children and are extremely important. If you have a family member involved in a dependency, neglect, or abuse case and need to speak to someone about your rights feel free to contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Every Divorce is different. Many couples go through uncontested divorces, where they are able to agree on everything and simply need help preparing all the paperwork and getting through the court system. Other couples go through the nasty contested divorces you see in movies. If there are no children involved the divorce process is mainly about dividing the assets and debts. Non-marital property should be returned to the rightful owner and marital property should be divided pursuant to Kentucky law. If the parties cannot agree on a fair division the facts of each case will determine how a court may divide the assets.
Another common issue in divorce is maintenance or alimony. In Kentucky these words mean the same thing. Maintenance or Alimony refer to payments by one spouse to the other, after the divorce, to help the lower income spouse maintain a similar quality of living to what they had during the marriage.
If you are considering filing for divorce or a divorce action has already been filed feel free to contact our attorneys for assistance at LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Kentucky Courts have a special docket for domestic violence cases. No one should have to tolerate domestic violence. Kentucky currently has a two step process. The first step is the issuance of an Emergency Protective Order and the second step is the issuance of a Domestic Violence Order. Domestic Violence hearings are usually heard within 14 days after the domestic violence petition is heard. In the legal world, 14 days is not a lot of time. In order to have time to meet with our clients and prepare their case on such short notice it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as you become involved in a domestic violence case. If you need assistance with a domestic violence case our attorneys are here to assist you and you can reach us at LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Mediation is gaining popularity in most areas of law, likely due to the amount of time and money that can be saved by avoiding a trial. In some areas of law, such as family law, counties require the parties to attend mediation in divorce and custody cases before they can even go to trial. Not all attorneys are familiar with the mediation process. It is a different process than a trial or arbitration. An attorney that is familiar with the mediation process provides several benefits. First, the mediator is often selected by the attorneys and selecting a good mediator can be the difference between resolving the case or having to proceed to trial. Second, an attorney that regularly mediates cases will be more familiar with the process and have several settlement and negotiation strategies. For more information about our representation at mediation please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Visitation or parenting time is the time that each parent will spend with the child. The parents may agree on many variations or schedules so long as they are in the child(ren)’s best interest. If you cannot agree, the Kentucky Supreme Court has recently created a model visitation schedule and many Kentucky Counties have their own specific default visitation schedules. These parenting schedules are models and the Court may deviate from them. If you cannot agree on a parenting schedule the Court will order the parenting schedule that it feels is in the best interest of the child(ren). If you need to set or modify a parenting schedule; or if would like to discuss the facts of your case or your counties rules with one of our attorneys you can contact us at LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
For more information concerning Paternity Issues such as establishing or disputing paternity, please contact one of our experienced attorneys at Lawrence & Lawrence, PLLC to assist you by emailing us at LLO@RealLawKY.com or calling (502) 589-5855.
Kentucky requires that if one parent wishes to relocate with the child and the relocation will affect the parenting schedule than there must be a written agreement or Court Order prior to the relocation. This means that even if a parent has Sole Custody or is the Primary Residence, they cannot relocate the child, if it effects the current parenting schedule, without written agreement or a court order. For this reason it is important that if a parent intends to relocate they contact an attorney in advance. If the other parent will not agree to the relocation it may take several months before the Court can schedule a hearing. Planning ahead is important. If you would like to discuss an upcoming move with one of our attorneys you can contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Termination of Parental Rights
The Family Courts have the ability to terminate a person’s parental rights. This is not something that is taken lightly as it severs all future rights the parent has to see and care for the child as well as the child’s rights to receive support and inheritance from the parent. Termination cases are often sad and difficult cases to discuss. However, whether you are trying to terminate a person’s parental rights or fighting to keep yours, when you are ready to discuss the issue, we are here to help. If you have questions about a termination or parental rights case you can contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.