Author Archives: Attorney Ken Turner

Who gets to keep what in a Florida Divorce?

Generally speaking, assets and liabilities acquired or incurred during the marriage, by either or both spouses, are presumed to be marital and belong to both parties.   If either spouse believes something that was acquired or incurred during the marriage is “nonmarital”, then that person has the burden to convince the court that it is nonmarital.  Property purchased during the marriage and prior to filing for a divorce is going to be presumed marital even it if is only titled in one spouse’s name.

Non-marital property can become marital property after the marriage, upon the happening of certain events.  For example, if the title of the property is changed to include both spouse’s names (putting your spouse’s name on the deed or adding his or her name to an account) .  A less obvious example would be the property gaining value during the marriage; the enhanced value could be marital property, belonging to both spouses.

All benefits acquired during the marriage in retirement, pension, profitsharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs are marital assets (IRAs, 401Ks, etc.).

A few examples of non-marital assets and liabilities would be assets and liabilities acquired before the marriage, inheritance, and income from non-marital assets.


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Mediation In Florida Divorce and Family Law Cases

Mediation is a process that takes place within, not separate from, divorce and family law cases in Florida.  Judges may refer all contested family law matters to mediation and they almost always do.  There are very few exceptions where Judges do not refer cases to mediation.

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party facilitates a negotiation between the two parties in order to resolve all or some of the issues by agreement.  It is often informal, neutral, and is intended to be non-adversarial.  Mediation is an opportunity for the parties and their attorneys to resolve any conflicts without a judges’ intervention.  But remember, judges usually require parties to go through mediation prior to allowing the parties to have a trial.

A mediation is a confidential event, meaning that all communications during mediation are confidential.  What happens at mediation stays at mediation.  Participants in a mediation may not later talk about or disclose what was communicated at mediation.

The goal of mediation is to resolve the issues between the parties by agreement and then have the agreement memorialized into a written contract between the parties.  Parties are not required to come to an agreement during mediation and failure to agree is referred to as an impasse.   Mediation is purely a voluntary process, no one can force anyone to sign an agreement.

While mediation is supposed to be non-adversarial out-of-court process, having an attorney at mediation will improve your chances of coming to a fair settlement.  Often times the two parties come to an agreement but do not have the knowledge or skill to fully capture the intent of the agreement in writing.  Items may be left out or the agreement may not be enforceable if mistakes are made.  A poorly written settlement agreement may cost the parties more in the long run.  Consult with an attorney before attending mediation or before signing any settlement agreements.  You may be giving up rights you did not even know that you had.


In Kentucky, Divorce Does Not Require Proof Of Fault Or Agreement

File this one under weird or Quentin Tarantino scripts.  An Orthodox Jewish Rabbi is facing trial for criminal charges related to assisting women obtain divorces.

According to Kentucky. com, Mendel Epstein,  is accused of employing a kidnap team to force unwilling Jewish husbands to divorce their wives.  Epstein has been charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.

Prosecutors allege the Orthodox rabbi’s team used brutal methods and tools, including handcuffs and electric cattle prods, to torture the men into granting divorces. The kidnap team brought surgical blades, a screwdriver and rope to a staged kidnapping in 2013, authorities have said. Epstein allegedly told the undercover agents he arranged similar kidnappings every year or year and a half, U.S. Attorney Joseph Gribko said.

The defense has argued that Epstein is just a really good advocate for women.

The good news for Kentuckians is that if you want a divorce, all of that cattle prod play is unnecessary.  As I explain on my Kentucky “get a divorce” page, Kentucky is a no fault divorce state:

This means that there is no need to prove grounds (reasons) in order to get a divorce. You do not have to blame the other person or explain the reasons why the marriage failed. The reasons why the marriage failed may be important in other areas of your divorce but are not necessary to file for a divorce in Kentucky or Florida. You do not have to prove infidelity, habitual drunkenness, abandonment, or any of the other reasons one used to have to give, in order to get a divorce. The only thing that must be proven is that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship” and there are no prospects for reconciliation.

If you are seeking a divorce or just have questions you need answered, please consult with a northern KY divorce attorney or an attorney in your jurisdiction before you begin arranging kidnappings.

Attorney Ken Turner





How much does a divorce cost?

Unless you are indigent, there are some hard costs associated with divorce whether you have an attorney or not.  Since a divorce is a law-suit, you must pay a filing fee to the County Clerk where the divorce is being filed and you usually have to pay a process server to have your spouse served with the divorce action.   In Kentucky, filing fees can range from county to county but you can figure that the filing fee will cost in the range of $150 or more.

As for attorney fees, it completely depends on the attorney.  Generally, a more experienced attorney will charge more and the more complex your case is, the more you can expect to pay.  Some attorneys cater to high net worth clients and some attorneys cater to working class families.  Uncontested divorces usually cost considerably less than contested divorces.

Many attorneys will charge a retainer for a predetermined amount of work.  But if the work on the case exceeds the initial retainer, you will have to pay more.   I have worked on divorce cases where the attorney fees have ranged from hundreds of dollars (an uncontested divorce with no children) to hundred of thousands of dollars (a case in Florida that involved multiple properties and millions in assets and income).  It just depends on the circumstances of the parties involved.

Courts can also order one party to contribute to the attorney fees of the other party.

So while there is not one answer I can give you concerning how much a divorce is going to cost, I offer fee arrangements of all shapes and sizes.  A Kentucky uncontested divorce can be less than $1000, including filing fees in many situations and a contested divorce will cost more.  I take into consideration the uniqueness of your case, the resources/assets you have available, and the complexity of your issues.   I offer a free initial consultation so that I can give you an honest estimation on the costs of your divorce.

My goal is to provide quality representation at affordable prices.

When Is The Right Time To Get A Divorce

I am not a psychiatrist.  I am not a therapist.  I can’t help you save your marriage.  I can’t make you happy.  I am an attorney.  I can help you achieve your goals in getting a divorce and provide you with my best effort in representing your interests.

While the majority of my business over the past 4 years has been divorce related work, I am not an advocate of divorce.  I believe that many people rush to divorce while many other people (those in abusive, dangerous relationships) do not rush to end an unhealthy relationship quickly enough.

Generally speaking, people should work hard to save their marriage and fight to keep it together.  Nothing worth a damn ever came easy.  In the end, you will be much more at ease with your decision to divorce if you can say that you did everything that you could to save your marriage.

Dr. Gail Gross and I share many of the same ideals when it comes to knowing when is the right time for a divorce.

1. Your partner is physically abusive to you or your children. 

When you come into a relationship, you often gravitate to the patterns that are familiar from your childhood and family of origin. These are the patterns that you know how to do — your comfort zone. Therefore, you often pick a spouse that lets you do what you know, and thus, you can repeat the very relationship you experienced with your parents. For example, if you or your spouse comes from an abusive childhood, and that abuse was allowed to continue at home, there may be a chance that you or your partner will reach for abuse as a normal behavior, since that is what one or both of you know. If you or your partner are not open to counseling, if either one of you continues the abuse, if there are indications that you or your partner sees nothing wrong with this behavior — then it may be time to leave.

2. Your partner’s habits put you and your children at risk.
Violent and/or abusive behavior, drug addiction, gambling addiction, gang membership — all of these habits have the potential to put loved ones at risk. As with all other trigger warnings, it is best to seek counseling and professional help first, but the truth is that sometimes, it is best and safer to remove you and your children from the situation.

3. Your partner cannot stop cheating on you.
When infidelity becomes a habitual occurrence and professional counseling does not help, it may be time for you to move on.

4. Your partner cannot stop lying to you about important matters.
If you find your partner making important family decisions independently and unilaterally without considering your feelings, constantly hiding important information or lying about information that affects you and your family — such as money issues, health issues, or other personal issues — and counseling does not help, this has the potential to hurt your family’s future, not to mention your trust in your partner. Trust is based on experience, and marriages are built on mutuality, love and trust. When that trust is broken on a regular basis, it can be difficult to repair the damage done to the relationship. And, when that trust is broken over circumstances that put you and your children at risk, it is sometimes smarter to remove you and your children from the environment before serious harm is done.

5. You and your partner have completely opposite life paths.
This can be a tricky area: when couples marry, they are sometimes not always on the same path with the same life goals, but they will usually work together to find compromise and mutually help each other meet their goals. Sometimes, however, your two life plans go in opposite directions, with no hope of supporting one another. For instance, let’s say you both marry wanting to have children. Suddenly, two years into your marriage, your partner announces that he absolutely no longer wants children. At this time, you are desperately eager to start your family. After seeking professional counseling, if you two still find yourselves on new, opposite life paths, it may be time to move on, so that you may each begin working on your desired lives.

6. You can’t make anyone love you.
When you feel that your marriage is like holding hands, and if you let go it will be gone, you are not in a loving and connected relationship. You can’t control another person’s feelings or behavior, and you can’t make anyone love you. The idea that if only you behave in a particular manner, then your spouse will be nice and loving, is magical thinking. It is difficult enough to affect your own actions, never mind controlling those of your partner. And finally, when your feelings of attachment to a mate lacking intimacy are so highly charged that you sacrifice your sense of self and self-esteem, it is worth considering that these heightened emotions may really be a projection, rather than love. You must ask yourself: Why do you love someone who doesn’t love you back mutually?

Couples divorce for many different reasons. Sometimes those reasons could be reversed or repaired, yes. However, sometimes, the right decision for all parties involved is to get a divorce. Then, it is up to each partner to ensure they have a better divorce than they did their marriage.

Read Dr. Gross’ full article at:

Social Media Can Only Hurt Your Child Custody Case

Another rapper is in the news this week regarding child custody disagreements in the midst of a pending divorce.  Wiz Khalifa took to Twitter to let the world know that he was not happy with what his current wife Amber Rose was doing with the child.

If you are in the middle of divorce, don’t take to social media to bash your child’s mother.  Bad move.  You can bet the court will consider those tweets.  Wiz has not followed my tip:

Take down all social networking sites, websites, etc. You can go back to enjoying all of your social media sites once the divorce is finalized. But keep in mind that a recent survey of divorce lawyers has shown that social media platforms such as Facebook are becoming central to many divorces and may provide yourself with information that can be twisted and turned against you. The interconnected world we live in makes it very easy to learn all sorts of information about a person. One of the first things I do whenever I get a new divorce case is immediately run Google search of the opposing party. You would be amazed what I have found. There is no reason to make it easy for your spouse’s attorney to access information about you. If you have a blog, Twitter, Google+ Facebook, or any other such web page, take it down immediately. Even if there is nothing particularly damning on it, your spouse may have your password and be able to log into the page and make changes to ruin your reputation. Take control of your life. Consider it the same as locking your front door to avoid tempting your spouse or other persons from entering and wandering around. It is one less thing you will have to worry about.


By now it’s pretty much common knowledge that Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose are no longer an item. After Amber filed for divorce due to the rapper’s alleged cheating ways, she hasn’t shied away from the spotlight at all.
She’s a frequent hot topic on the blog circuit for her racy outfits, but Wiz has opted to keep it lowkey — for the most part. He’s even gone as far as complimenting her after one of her gravity-defying Instagram posts went viral.
But things are beginning to sour between the two and Khalifa doesn’t seem too pleased with her recent behavior concerning their son, Sebastian, according to a series of recent tweets. We’re reading between the Twitter lines here since he doesn’t mention his ex-wife by name, but it’s pretty clear who he’s referring to.
“a woman who would do something to a kid to spite that kids father is a foul creature,” Wiz writes. “Sucks when people try to use that against you but the cool part is figuring out how much self control you have.”
“That” is likely his son, which seems to be stuck in the battle between his parents.
While Amber has yet to react on social media with her own side of the story, something tells us this won’t be the last we hear of these two.


Ludacris Was Awarded Primary Physical Custody Of His Child

Primary physical custody can mean many different things or nothing at all.  In Kentucky, “custody” refers to decision making authority and not physical control or parenting time with the child.  Since he is calling it “primary physical custody” I assume he means parenting time and that the child will be spending the majority of the time with the rapper?  Legal words and phrases are misused so often that it is hard to know what is meant by “primary physical custody”.

However, the case was slightly more interesting than most, as Ludacris (Chris Bridges) was called to answer regarding his rap lyrics.  The story from is pasted below:

When Ludacris recorded “Dancin’ Dirty” with Chris Brown for his mixtape IDGAF, he probably didn’t imagine those lyrics being used in court against him. But last week, they became testimony in a custody hearing between Ludacris and Tamika Fuller over their one-year-old daughter Cai.

Fuller’s lawyer brought up the lyrics at the hearing on Monday, and Judge Dorothy Downs grilled Ludacris about them, according to XXL, even reading the entire second verse of the song aloud:

“Cuz she asked me for a drink and I’m damn sure fin’ to po’ it
I’m a, make it strong, she said she like it fruity
In another 30 minutes I’ll be feelin’ on her booty
An hour after that I’ll have her twisted like a cyclone
Legs wrapped around me til she squeeze me like a python
I call that slizzer we both been gone off that liquor
She let down all her defenses and yes I give her the business
With the quickness she came to her senses, while I’m tappin’ and snappin’ pictures
Relentless but so persistent now she said it’s just Ludacris”

Judge Downs called out what she perceived as a lack of consent in that situation. “You’re talking about date rape there, aren’t you?” she asked, adding, “Would you like for Cai to have this experience with a young man?”

Luda’s response: “No ma’am. … When Cai becomes an adult, if she wants to have a good time, then that’s her right as an adult.”

Judge Downs must have been satisfied with Ludacris’ defense of the song; he was awarded custody. “I am gratified that the judge found me to be the most fit and proper parent to have primary physical custody of our beautiful daughter,” he told TMZ.

When A Parent Wants To Move Away and Take The Child

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Cunningham wrote a beautiful dissent in a case that touches on many child custody and parenting issues, including relocation of the child away from one parent.  I have taken liberty to trim away the introductory paragraph and I have highlighted some of the more thought provoking pieces.

We can no longer afford the simplistic approach to arbitrarily allow parents to relocate to distant places simply because the child is doing fine in the primary physical custody of that parent. There is a tremendous amount of evidence which connects frequent residential moves of children of separated parents to major problems in child adjustment. The effects upon children being frequently relocated include lower academic performance and higher rates of problems with depression, conduct, and peer relationships.  We are not talking about moves by intact families where children usually cope and sometimes even thrive. Relocation by a divorced parent where the child is torn away from the mother or father is uniquely different.
In 1998, the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers took on the difficult problem of parental relocation and proposed a Model Relocation Act. The Act itself lists several factors that the trial court should consider before allowing the relocation of a child.  While many states have dealt with the relocation issue through legislation, others have given — as we should do here — guideposts to trial courts through their highest courts.
Of course, each jurisdiction is unique, but there are common factors running through all. The following are but a few of these common factors:

(1) the age of the child;
(2) the purpose of the move;
(3) the distance of the move;
(4) the worthiness of the move for the child when balanced with any negative effects;
(5) the improvement of the child’s standard of living;
(6) the physical hardship of travel for the child on visitation with the non-custodial parent;
(7) the presence or absence of extended family for the child at the new location versus the existing location;
(8) the motivation of the non-custodial parent for objecting to the move (i.e., is it genuine concern for the child or simply a way of punishing the former spouse?);
(9) whether the non-custodial parent has turned down career advancement opportunities by not moving away in order to stay close to the child;
(10) the possibility and plausibility of the non-custodial parent following the child; and
(11) the number of times the custodial parent has moved.

I search in vain to find attention given by the trial court to any of these key elements in its custody determination.
It is significant that this is a “joint custody” case and Justice Noble ably describes how that arrangement places more responsibility for child rearing on both parents than in a “sole custody” situation. Here, the non-custodial parent is legally entitled to be involved in all aspects of the child’s life, which is independent of the time actually spent in the child’s presence. The letter and spirit of Chalupa, a landmark case referred to by the majority, hovers over these relocation cases. Indeed, “a divorce from a spouse is not a divorce from their children,” especially in joint custody cases. However, when the custodial parent moves far away with a child, an effectual “divorce” occurs between the child and the non-custodial parent.
The trial court in this case gave no treatment whatsoever to the contributing role of the father in making this child happy and a good student. There was no consideration of what would happen when this dual parenthood was cut asunder. The trial judge stated: “The court is not inclined to end a six year relationship of a child with a parent merely because that parent remarries and moves to a different location.” The essence of the trial court’s findings dealt only with uncontroverted issues; the parties never contested that both were good parents, or that the child had been with the mother for a very long time and was doing well. The trial court dealt solely with the relocation and its effects on the child. Yet the findings totally ignore the issue of the case.
The importance of having both parents engaged in the upbringing of children cannot be overemphasized. Reams of research material are available addressing the negative impact parental relocation has upon children. If we are truly dedicated to placing the child’s best interest as paramount, then we must seriously rethink our current notions of adult freedoms and prerogatives. When a custodial parent decides to move a great distance, the non-custodial parent may no longer be deeply involved in the child’s life. The custodial parent has a choice — the choice not to move. The non-custodial parent has no choice and is not only helpless, but essentially stripped of his or her child. The child is also at the mercy of the custodial parent’s choice.
The majority refers to another relocation case that this Court decides today, which works in tandem with this one. Frances v. Frances, S.W.3d , 2008 Ky. LEXIS 258 (Ky. 2008). Not only are these two cases distinguishable, but the distinction between them is instructive. First of all, in Frances this Court affirms the Court of Appeals’ decision which relied heavily upon Brumleve v. Brumleve, 416 S.W.2d 345 (Ky. 1967). That case provides the underpinning for this dissent: “[Custodial parents] should be given considerable latitude in choosing where they will live. But when this right is challenged by the former [spouse and parent] of the children, [the custodial parent] should offer some plausible reason for taking minor children out of the jurisdiction of the court to the prejudice of the visitation rights of the [non-custodial parent]. Mere whim is not enough.” Id. at 346. In Frances, the trial court considered the issue of relocation as critical to its decision-making. The majority declared: “Though the trial court stated the relocation of the Appellant was a substantial factor in the custodial determination . . . the record also indicates that the trial court placed significant weight on Haley’s strong relationship with her father, frequent interaction with the father’s extended family, and adjustment within the community.” Id. at 758.
In my writing here, I do not opine that the trial court necessarily got it wrong in this case. However, I think there was insufficient consideration of the core issue — the impact of the relocation upon the child. Or at best, there were insufficient findings and lack of a much needed analysis.
I am concerned that our Court passes up a golden opportunity today to lend much needed guidance to our trial judges, who continue to confront the problem before us without assistance from this Court or the legislature.
Therefore, I very respectfully dissent.
Pennington v. Marcum, 266 S.W.3d 759, 772-774, 2008 Ky. LEXIS 235, 31-38 (Ky. 2008)



Kenton County Family Court Local Rule For Guardian Ad Litems

A. Preface. Children are non sui juris.(1)Link to the text of the noteAbsent legislation which is constitutionally appropriate under the seventh part of the Kentucky Constitution, section 59, and other pertinent provisions of law, it shall be the policy of the Kenton Family Court to respect that important status and thereby promote the safety and care of children whose well-being is involved in litigation before this Court. When appointed as Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) for a child pursuant to a provision of the Kentucky Unified Juvenile Code or otherwise, it shall be the duty of that appointee to advocate for the client’s best interest.
A GAL shall act in the capacity of attorney for a child. A GAL stands in the child’s place to determine what the child’s best interests and defense demand. Although a GAL does not have the powers of a regular guardian under KRS 387.010 et. seq., a GAL fully represents the child and is endowed with similar powers for purposes of the litigation at hand. Therefore, the GAL is both a fiduciary and lawyer for the child, and, in a sense, the representative of the child.
Statements made by the GAL for a child to the Kenton Family Court, whether during a hearing or in a motion or memorandum or otherwise, are presumptively acts of speaking legally on behalf of the child or advocacy or both; they are neither evidence nor an implicit claim of expertise of any kind. A GAL for a child shall not be called as a witness during litigation in which that lawyer is representing a child.
There shall be no requirement of a formal written report to be filed by the GAL as a recommendation to the Kenton Family Court. The GAL shall make recommendations to the Court during hearings or otherwise in a manner that will present those recommendations to all litigants.
A GAL for a child shall not be required to complete a custody evaluation. Statements by a GAL regarding the award of custody and collateral matters shall not be regarded as a custody evaluation.
B. Practice Guidelines. (2)Link to the text of the note
Settlement Letter/Joint Meeting. Prior to the final hearing in a case in which a GAL has been appointed, any litigant may move for a Joint Meeting between the GAL, the parties and their counsel to discuss the settlement of the case and to request that the GAL send opposing counsel a Settlement Letter outlining how the case might be settled. The Joint Meeting discussion may be conducted in conjunction with a pretrial conference to secure access to the presiding Judge for all parties at the same time. If sustained, the Joint Meeting may include what the GAL intends to say on behalf of the child, the efforts of the GAL to date, and the propriety of the GAL making other specified efforts. Discussion of extra, specified efforts by the GAL shall take into consideration the financial reasonableness of any such request.
Affidavit of Due Diligence. Prior to the final hearing in which a GAL is appointed, any litigant may move for an Affidavit of Due Diligence to state the number of hours that have been expended in the case, the functions that the GAL has completed, the tasks that have been performed, and the fee that the GAL has requested. In the absence of such a motion, a GAL may choose to tender an Affidavit of Due Diligence and use that opportunity to provide details about the case and thereby state his or her efforts in a clear context.
C. Appointed Counsel Roster. There shall be created by the approval of these Rules by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, a roster of attorneys called the KRS 620 Guardian Ad Litem and Appointed Counsel Roster (herein referred to as “Roster”) to serve as GALs and separate counsel pursuant to the provisions of KRS 620.100.
Application for Appointment. Pursuant to the enactment of these Rules, all eligible attorneys who wish to serve as GALs and be Roster members, including those who are currently or have previously acted in this capacity, will need to (re)apply for membership. The Court will designate and maintain the Roster’s membership. The initial number of members shall be fourteen (14). This number and the designated members are subject to revision or removal by the Court.
D. Obligations of Roster Members. Persons eligible for service on the Roster shall meet the following obligations:
1. They must be in attendance and available for appointment during the first calls of new cases as often as the Judges of Kenton Family Court shall require.
2. They must average three (3) hours of approved educational programs per year.
3. They shall attend a basic GAL seminar provided through the Administrative Office of the Courts. Should that particular training cease to be offered, then another such training approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts may be substituted.
E. Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse and Termination of Parental Rights. Special Duty of Roster Members. The attorney who represents or has represented a parent or child in a Dependency, Neglect and Abuse case, unless objected to by that parent, should also counsel and if necessary, represent him or her in the Termination of Parental Rights action.
When there is no pending termination of parental rights litigation in the Kenton Family Court and when a parent wants to voluntarily give up his or her parental rights, the Roster member who is involved in the proceeding, if asked by the parent, shall within a reasonable time counsel him or her. That Roster member shall advise about legal issues arising in a voluntary termination of parental rights case and try to ascertain whether such a relinquishment would be made with understanding of what it entails and without improper coercion. Thereafter, if the parent wishes to surrender parental rights to a child or children, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (“Cabinet”) shall be notified so that it may be ascertained whether the Cabinet is willing to be involved in such litigation or in collateral involuntary termination of parental rights litigation and whether it is feasible for an appropriate attorney’s fee to be paid. If both the parent and the Cabinet are receptive to a voluntary termination of parental rights and if statutory compensation for the Roster member appears to be available, then that member shall prepare and file a voluntary petition for termination of parental rights and he or she shall participate as counsel in that lawsuit and in any precautionary involuntary termination of parental rights lawsuit that is collateral to it. The Kenton Family Court will award that member of the Roster those attorney’s fees under the Kentucky Unified Juvenile Code as are appropriate for services rendered both before and after filing of the petition.
Additionally, the attorney shall, having served as GAL or separate counsel, serve in the same capacity in a sequential involuntary termination of parental rights case if appointed by the Kenton Family Court.
F. Permanency Litigation Panel. There shall be created by the approval of these Rules by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, a panel of attorneys (herein referred to as “Permanency Litigation Panel”) to serve as GALs who are entitled to serve as appointed counsel in Adoption, Dissolution of Marriage, Petition for Permanent Custody pursuant to KRS Chapter 403 or as Amicus Curiae in such proceedings. The number and initial membership of the Permanency Litigation Panel shall be decided after the application process described in above subsection “C” and are subject to removal by the Judges on the Kenton Family Court. Applications for the Permanency Litigation Panel shall be accepted year round. The obligations of the Permanency Litigation Panel are the same as the Roster members described in above subsection “D.”
Special Rules Concerning the Permanency Litigation Panel and Child Custody Litigation. The Court, in its discretion, shall decide how to best protect the interests of any child or children involved in custody litigation. The Court may, sua sponte, appoint a member of the Permanency Litigation Panel as Amicus Curiae to serve the interests of justice. Any party involved in custody litigation may move the Court for appointment of a GAL.
Permanency Litigation Panel and Attorney’s Fees. Persons appointed as GALs and Amicus Curiae shall be entitled to a reasonable fee.(3)Link to the text of the note
G. Joint Administrative Rules for Roster Membership and the Permanency Litigation Panel.
Role of Each Panel. As previously enumerated within thus Rule, the role of each Panel shall be as follows:
KRS 620 Guardian Ad Litem and Appointed Counsel Roster (“Roster”). These members shall serve as GAL and separate counsel pursuant to the provisions of KRS 620.100.
Permanency Litigation Panel. These members shall serve as GAL entitled to serve as appointed counsel in Adoption, Dissolution of Marriage, Petition For Permanent Custody pursuant to KRS Chapter 403 or as Amicus Curiae in such proceedings.
Vacancy. When a vacancy arises, notice of that fact shall be published through the auspices of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association. The vacancy shall be filled from among those candidates who timely submit a letter, assuring that the minimum requirements of these Rules are met, to the Kenton Family Court.
Compensation. Roster and Panel members will be compensated in accordance to the current fee of one hundred dollars ($100) per hour or some future replacement fee schedule promulgated by the Kenton Family Court. In cases in which compensation is by an hourly basis and fee cap, the duty of counsel to keep records of time and services rendered shall cease when the maximum fee has, subject to a ruling on the fee application, apparently been earned.
The award of attorney’s fees in accordance with the attached fee schedule shall be limited to members of the pertinent group which is eligible for appointment, to wit, either Roster or Permanency Litigation Panel members.
Appointments. In each Panel, the priority of appointments shall be given to those members who have already had appointments in cases involving the family which is again involved in litigation.
The Family Court Judicial Secretary shall prepare schedules, setting forth the dates upon which regular court proceedings are to be held, that shall provide which members of the pertinent panel are to have appointments in new cases on those days.
Appointments in paternity cases as GAL for putative fathers or mothers in prison or otherwise under incapacity shall be awarded to interested members of the Roster or Permanency Litigation Panel on a rotating basis.
Kenton Family Court Advisory Committee. Herein referred to as the “Advisory Committee,” this group shall be created by the Kenton Family Court from among members of the Roster and the Permanency Litigation Panel; it shall consist of a Chairperson and four (4) other members and each shall serve a two (2) year term. Members may be reappointed or removed by the Kenton Family Court. Responsibilities of the Advisory Committee shall be to prepare or approve the education as mentioned in subsection “D” in addition to any other duties the Court shall assign.
Accountability. The Kenton Family Court Judges shall preside over the accountability of the Roster and Permanency Litigation Panel members. The Court shall conduct an annual review of the Roster and Permanency Litigation Panel. The Court, in its discretion, may declare all memberships vacant and invite an application process to fill the membership. The Court may choose to meet with the individuals or groups of the Roster and Permanency Litigation Panel at its discretion.(4)Link to the text of the note
Fee Schedule. Rendition of services pursuant to appointment and compensated in accordance with these Rules will be taxed as costs of the proceeding. Failure to make payment, within a reasonable time, of any fee awarded, can, in the discretion of the Kenton Family Court, be sanctioned.
H. Warning Order Appointments and Guardians Ad Litem for Prisoners and Persons of Unsound Mind. All practicing attorneys who are licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court of Kentucky are eligible to apply for and be placed on a rotating list, maintained by the Judges of the Kenton Family Court pursuant to CR 4.07. Upon rendering the Warning Order Appointment as required by CR 4.07(2)(5), the Warning Order Attorney shall be entitled to a fee, as authorized by the Kentucky Civil Rules, and as set forth within these Rules and be taxed as costs in the proceeding. Persons who are located by a Warning Order Attorney, who are eligible for the appointment of counsel under KRS Chapter 600 et. seq. and want the Warning Order Attorney to represent them, shall, absent extraordinary circumstances, have a lawyer appointed to act on their behalf in the pending litigation. These services shall be compensated pursuant to the provisions of KRS Chapter 600 et. seq.
In ordinary civil cases, the rotating list of Warning Order Attorneys shall also serve as rotating list for appointments of GALs under CR 17.04 for prisoners and persons of unsound mind. In extraordinary civil cases, to wit, those for which there is a statutory fee for GALs and appointed counsel under the Kentucky Unified Juvenile Code, appointments pursuant to CR 17.04 will be made to an appropriate member of the Roster or the Permanency Litigation Panel.
I. Modification. The provisions of the foregoing Rules are subject to modification, repeal, or alteration upon concurrence of all Judges on the Kenton Family Court.
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Ky. 16th Jud. Cir. FCR RULE 23