What Should You Expect in Kentucky Family Court?

If your divorce or custody case is about to start, what should you expect in Kentucky Family Court?  Your first interaction will be with the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk (in most places, there is a separate Family Division) where your Petition or Response will be filed.  The Clerk accepts the Petition, Case Data Sheet, Summons, and (in divorces) a VS-300 along with a fee.

Once the divorce is filed, the first contact you will have with your Judge is a Families In Transition Order directing you to attend a class.  These Orders are forms and apply in most counties.

Motion Hour

The next interaction you may have with the Judge is through Motion Hour.  At Motion Hour, the Court hears all requests (in the form of a Motion) from the parties appearing before them.  The Court will either sustain the Motion, deny the Motion or schedule the Motion to be heard at a later date.

Case Management Conference and Mediation

You will then attend a Case Management Conference with the Judge and Mediation (in most cases) with a “third party neutral” (usually a lawyer or retired Judge) to help you settle all (or some) of your case.  At the Case Management Conference, you will report to the Judge what issues need to be decided by the Judge.  If Mediation occurred, then you will be assigned a Trial date.  Mediation is your opportunity to settle as much of your case as possible without worrying about a Trial and Court.

Trial

At Trial, you will present your case to the Judge through testimony and documentary exhibits.  You will answer questions by the other party’s attorney (and, sometimes, from the Judge).  You can call any other witnesses you think may be helpful.  At the conclusion, the Judge will likely thank and excuse you.  You will receive a written decision from your Judge at a later date.

In between your Case Management Conference and Trial, the Court may hear your temporary custody, parenting schedule, child support, spousal support and fee advancement issues.  This is like a mini Trial at which you will testify and present documents.

Rarely should you try (pun intended) this alone.  It is important that you seek the advice of an attorney.  The Court will be making very crucial decisions about your children and your financial well-being.  If you need to file or respond to a Petition to Dissolve your Marriage or for Custody, please call your Kentucky Divorce Lawyer.  Also, please feel free to learn more at jrlloydlaw.com or thelouisvilledivorceattorney.com or thelouisvilledivorcelawyer.com if you are not ready to talk.  Thanks for reading.