New Family Court Rules of Procedure and Practice

FRANKFORT, Ky. — For the first time, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has adopted uniform rules for family law cases statewide. The new Family Court Rules of Procedure and Practice apply to all family law cases, such as those involving divorce, domestic violence, child support, juvenile status offenses and adoption. The new rules will have a significant impact on the practice of family law in Kentucky.

The media and public are invited to a news conference about the new rules at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 13, in the Supreme Court Courtroom. The courtroom is on the second floor of the Kentucky Capitol at 700 Capitol Ave. in Frankfort, Ky.

Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. will open the news conference. Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble will introduce the new rules and answer questions from the media. Justice Noble headed the initiative to develop and recommend the uniform rules as chair of the Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee.

Previously there were no statewide rules specifically for family law cases. Judges followed the civil rules and created local family law rules for their jurisdiction. The new rules are based on best practices in domestic and juvenile cases in Kentucky courts and provide a uniform set of rules for judges to follow statewide.

The rules became effective Jan. 1, 2011.

The Family Court Rules of Procedure and Practice were developed with input from stakeholders, including Supreme Court justices, Kentucky judges at all levels of the court system, domestic relations commissioners, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, family law attorneys, circuit court clerks and community partners, including children’s advocacy groups.

Family Court judges have jurisdiction in domestic and juvenile cases in the 71 Kentucky counties that have a Family Court program. Family Court is a division of Circuit Court. In the other 49 counties, circuit and district judges handle domestic and juvenile cases.

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