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On the Light Side - Country Divorce Tunes

Many years ago, Kathy Revell, the daughter of Retired Judge Richard Revell (she was also his secretary at the time) circulated this country divorce song quiz. We have added to her list of love gone wrong tunes starting with #32, following her list of artists. Divorce is about as sad a field of law as an attorney sees, so you have to find a little humor where you can! We never run out of projects, but one that has been on the list for a long time is to download these songs. Maybe this blog will be the perfect place for such a repertoire.

When Good Love Goes Bad . . .
How Many Recording Artists Can You
Match With These Songs?

Domestic Violence Offender Follow-Up

The April 16, 2006 Couier-Journal reported the creation of a new District Court docket to monitor compliance with domestic violence offender treatment. Today's Courier editorial page rightly praised Judge Angela Bisig's pilot program, but inaccuratley referred to the court as a Domestic Violence Court.

Wage Assignment Order Revisions

The OCSE is seeking comments by April 21, 2006 to revisions to the federal wage assignment order form.Download wao.doc

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are the way to go to receive manageable updates to news and new blawg postings. Thanks to KY's Michael Stevens and his www.KentuckyLawBlog.com and LouisvilleLawWire for making this easier for the rest of us. His suggestion that FeedDemon was the easiest aggregator was taken (for $29 why take a more difficult route?) and now most news in one location can be checked at leasure.

L.L.M. in Family Law

Hofstra Law School established an L.L.M. program in family law and will enroll its first students beginning in the fall of 2006, in response to increased specialization and interdisciplinary issues. http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Law/law_llm_familylaw.cfm. This is the third such program in the U.S. although in other countries they appear to be as well known as our L.L.M. programs in tax law.

Gathering of KY Blawgers

I have invited the other KY blawgers to my home Friday April 28 for drinks and dinner. All have insipired and helped me as I created this blog, yet few of us have met. It will be great fun sharing tips and ideas. My daughter has dubbed it the "Geek Party." If you are a KY lawyer with a blog and would like to be included, please email me at Skaggs@LouisvilleDivorce.com or post a comment.

Domestic Violence Protection for Pets

Maine has new pet protection provisions in its domestic violence statutes. I know of no reason in KY why a court could not protect animals as part of the entry of a domestic violence order in the absence of a specific statute. The comments are passionate to the Press Herald online report of the new law. http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/statehouse/060412pets.shtml?com_f...

Innocent Spouse Tax Relief

The Family Law Taxation Blog has a recent posting about innocent spouse tax relief: http://www.familylawtaxation.com. However, even if the IRS absolves a sopuse from tax liability, in a KY divorce, the trial court can assess some of the burden of the tax to the innocent spouse.
Dobson v. Dobson, 159 SW3d 335 (Ky.App., 2004)
Spouse granted innocent spouse relief by the IRS is
not entitled to res judicata and trial court assignment
of tax deficiency 40% to innocent spouse was upheld.
Tax audit had uncovered a tax deficiency, but trial court

New KY Family Law Published Cases

As promised, here's the complete list and summary of the latest Kentucky cases that are final and now published. I have included just a few important non-final cases, but the status is indicated. Retired Chief Family Court Judge Richard A. Revell summarized half the cases in connection with our Fifteenth Annual Domestic Relations Update at the Louisville Bar Association yesterday. The seminar was well attended and the discussion lively. I will try soon to post the cases by category in a sidebar for easier access and frequent additions.

I. Child Custody and Visitation

Goff v. Goff, 172 SW3d 352 (Ky., 2005)
Applying the UCCJA, Kentucky had subject matter jurisdiction
to enter the initial custody decree, but was without continuing
jurisdiction to modify it because Tennessee was unquestionably
the home state of the child.

Parties were married in Tennessee (June 1996) and purchased a home in Nashville. Less than a month after the wedding, Mr. Goff filed a petition for annulment in Warren County, Kentucky, where he now resided. She remained in Tennessee.

On October 3, 1996, Mrs. Goff filed for divorce in Tennessee. Ten days later she gave birth in Tennessee. Two days later Mr. Goff amended, seeking dissolution of the marriage in Kentucky. On December 6, 1996, the Kentucky court entered an order striking Mrs. Goff's motion to stay due to her non-appearance.

On January 17, 1997, the Tennessee court dismissed Mrs. Goff's action on the grounds there was an earlier pending action in Kentucky. The parties' child, 3 months old, had lived exclusively in Tennessee. On January 27,1997, Mr. Goff filed a motion in the Kentucky action to set child support, acknowledging that Mrs. Goff was the fit and proper custodian of the child, and conceded Kentucky had jurisdiction to set child support under Gaines v. Gaines. On February 18, 1997, the parties reached an Agreement, and the marriage was dissolved on
March 3, 1997. Thereafter, the parties returned to the Kentucky court on a number of occasions to litigate issues regarding child support, arrearages, and visitation.

In August of 2000 Mr. Goff filed a motion seeking joint custody of the child; Mrs. Goff responded with a motion to terminate Mr. Goff's visitation. On November 29, 2000 Mrs. Goff filed a petition in Tennessee to register a foreign decree, asserting that Tennessee now had jurisdiction regarding custody matters. She claimed Kentucky never had jurisdiction to determine custody originally; and Kentucky does not have jurisdiction to determine such issue now, as the child has never resided in Kentucky.

The trial court agreed with Mrs. Goff on both issues, holding Kentucky did not have original jurisdiction and does not now have jurisdiction over the motion to modify child custody, as the child has never resided in Kentucky.

The Court of Appeals overruled as to the first issue and affirmed as to the second issue. The Kentucky Supreme Court then granted Discretionary Review.

Held: Under the UCCJA and the PKPA, the assumption by Kentucky of jurisdiction originally was correct, because the child had not resided in either state for six months (was only 90 days old), and Tennessee declined jurisdiction.

The second issue is whether Kentucky has continuing jurisdiction to modify a custody decree, having acted originally. The Court holds Kentucky did not, as the child has never been in Kentucky. The Court of Appeals affirms on this issue.

Discretionary Review is sought and granted. The Supreme Court of Kentucky affirms the Court of Appeals on both issues. 1) Kentucky had original jurisdiction because no other state would accept jurisdiction. Some state must accept jurisdiction. 2) Kentucky does not have jurisdiction to modify custody, as the child has never resided in Kentucky, and now more than 6 months have gone by, thus, Kentucky has lost jurisdiction.

Personal Identifiers to Be Private

Finally we have a law sealing social security numbers, date of birth, name of minor child and financial account numbers in domestic relations court files.

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