The Kentucky Supreme Court has adopted uniform rules for all family courts in the Commonwealth. The new rules, which went into effect January 1, apply to all family law cases, including divorce, domestic violence, child support, custody, adoption and neglect or abuse. Franklin County Family Court Judge Will Williams applauds the effort, which he says will ease the transfer of cases.
“I mean when I get a case in from another county, it’s nice to know that that county practices in the same way that I do. And really, that hadn’t been the case – particularly for some of the counties down in the rural parts of the state and some of the counties that don’t have family courts,” he said.
Family courts were approved by Kentucky voters in November 2002, with passage of a state constitutional amendment. Currently, more than three million Kentuckians are being served by family courts in 71 counties. Family legal matters in other counties are still handled by district and circuit courts, but the new rules apply to them, too. State judicial leaders say the ultimate goal is to have family courts in all 120 counties, but funding remains a major hurdle.