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Family Courts Needed Statewide

Arizona Family Rights Project

Forty-nine of Kentucky’s 120 counties are without a family court.  In those places, circuit judges hear family matters such as adoption, paternity, and domestic violence. 

Daviess County, located in western Kentucky, has the largest caseload of any county in Kentucky without a family court. The Kentucky Supreme Court last year certified the need for two family court positions in Daviess County, but budget constraints delayed any action. 

Chief Justice John Minton says there are advantages to having judges who specialize in family law.

“The family court concept was that there would be one judge involving one family so the case could be all handled, all the family’s legal needs, could be handled in one court with one judge.”  --John Minton

When Governor Beshear called a special session this month on legislative redistricting, he left open the possibility that judicial districts could be addressed, as well.  But Justice Minton doubts family court will come up in the short, five-day session.