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  • Sunday, August 5, 2018



    Mother and Father were divorced in Kentucky. Mother subsequently relocated with minor child to North Carolina. The North Carolina court heard several custody and parenting time issues, after which Father challenged the Court’s jurisdiction. Pursuant to the UCCJEA, Kentucky found that it would be “an inconvenient forum and relinquished jurisdiction to the North Carolina courts.” Father appealed.


    The Court of Appeals reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard holding that the Kentucky family court did not abuse its “broad discretion” by concluding that Kentucky was an inconvenient forum when the child had not lived in Kentucky since the age of 2, the child’s school and residence are in North Carolina, and no significant visitation had occurred in Kentucky.


    Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell...

  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018


     “A court may only hold a child in contempt of court to enforce a valid court order previously issued by the court. KRS 610.010(11). It is manifestly unjust to subject a juvenile to sanctions for contempt, especially confinement in a detention facility, when the status offense case against her was effectively terminated without the entry of a valid written order regulating her future conduct. Additionally, the Breathitt Family Court found that C.S. committed “the public offense” of contempt of court even though the Juvenile Code is clear that contempt of court is not a public offense.”


  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018



    Family court dissolved the marriage of Husband and Wife with three children after a DRC recommendation and evidentiary hearing. Each party filed exceptions to the DRC report, the Court sustained one and overruled the rest. Wife raised several issues on appeal.


    First, Wife argues that the DRC improperly adopted the findings and conclusions tendered by Husband. The Court of Appeals disagrees as the Supreme Court allows use of tendered findings and conclusions, as long as the Court does not abdicate “their responsibility to make required findings of fact and conclusions of law in this case.” In this case, a property evidentiary hearing was held, and the family court properly subjected the DRC findings to full review granting exceptions when necessary after review of the record.


    Second, Wife next argues that the family court failed to “consider...

  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018



    Stepfather filed a petition for visitation with stepchildren. Biological father’s rights had been terminated and although stepfather had not adopted the children, they had his last name, called him dad, and relied on him solely for financial support. Mother disagreed testifying the children were afraid of their stepfather. The family court ultimately determined that mother was fit and it was not in the children’s best interests for stepfather to have visitation.


    Stepfather appealed arguing the family court did not properly apply the best interest standard. The Court of Appeals disagreed, but held that the family court failed to “adequately explain why [mother] did not waive her superior rights to custody.” The Court of Appeals applies Mullins which held that nonparents may seek standing if a parent waives his or her superior right to custody. In the present...

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018



    Father and mother shared one minor child, but had never married or cohabitated. In 2014, mother filed a motion for modification of child support which was granted. In 2016, Mother filed another modification of child support claiming essentially the same change in material circumstances as she did in her 2014 motion. The family court again granted her motion. Father appealed arguing 1) there was no substantial and continuing change , 2) the family Court failed to consider prior born children’s support and the cost of the child’s health insurance, and 3) the family court’s finding that it would be unfair to child for Father to support a lifestyle substantially below his own was an abuse of discretion.


    The Court of Appeals agreed that the record did not contain evidence showing a substantial change since Mother’s first motion noting the Court improperly...

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