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  • Monday, January 23, 2017


    The Trial Court held that Aunt met the standards for a de facto custodian and awarded joint custody to Father and Aunt, imposing a child support obligation against Father without consideration of Aunt’s income and requiring Father to pay a portion of Aunt’s attorney’s fees. Father appealed as to custody, attorney fees, and child support.

    The court first addresses Father’s argument that Aunt did not meet the requirement of a de facto custodian. The Court of Appeals concludes that Aunt did not meet the KRS 403.280 de facto custodian standard as she shared the parenting responsibilities with Father and was paid for her services. As she lacked de facto custodian status, Aunt did not have standing before the court in the divorce matter and could not be awarded child support or attorney fees. The Court of Appeals reversed and vacated all orders stemming from the erroneous de facto...

  • Monday, January 23, 2017


    Mother brought a motion asking court to settle a dispute over schooling between Mother and Father. The Trial Court entered an order pursuant to KRS 159.010 placing the child in Mother’s school of choice. The Court of Appeals vacated the order holding that KRS 159.010 “merely directs placement of a child in a school after the parents have reached an agreement on the critical issue.” The Court of Appeals remanded with instructions for the Trial Court to make a determination on school according to the child’s best interests citing the ruling in Keifer. Keifer v. Keifer, 354 S.W.3d 123, 125–26 (Ky. 2011).


    Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell


  • Wednesday, January 4, 2017



    Wife signed an employment contract with attorney which gave him a lien on all of her assets. Parties subsequently entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement which provided Husband would buyout Wife’s interest and receive marital home. It further provided each would pay his or her own attorney fees, but Husband would pay $1,500 of Wife’s fees. After the entry of the divorce decree, Wife’s attorney placed a lien on the marital home. The trial court Judge set aside the lien and was upheld by the Court of Appeals. Attorney moved for review and the Supreme Court granted discretionary review.


    Attorney first argues that he is entitled to a fee under the attorney fee lien statute, KRS 376.460, which does not require notice. The Supreme Court holds that the attorney’s fee lien statutes “does not apply to...

  • Tuesday, December 27, 2016



    Husband appealed to the Court of Appeals arguing the trial court erred by finding the equity in the parties’ residence was marital property and ordering the division of household goods and furnishings by lot. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. The Supreme Court granted discretionary review.


    They first turn to the issue of the characterization of the equity in the marital home. Husband argues that because a $246,000 gift from his parents was used to partially fund the construction of the marital home, he has a nonmarital claim in the home that should have been recognized by the trial court. The Supreme Court employs the factors laid out in O’Neill and modified in Sexton to make a determination that the $246,000 gift was indeed Husband’s nonmarital property creating nonmarital interest in the home. O’Neill v. O’...

  • Tuesday, December 27, 2016


    Husband filed an appeal of an award of attorney fees, but failed to name Wife’s attorney as a party. As the fee award was “ordered paid directly to the attorney, the attorney ‘may enforce the order in his own name’ and, thus is the real party in interest and a necessary and indispensable party to any appeal from that order.”

    The court dismisses Husband’s appeal holding that the naming of indispensable parties in the notice of appeal requires strict compliance and belatedly adding the attorney’s name to the appeal was insufficient.

    Judge Thompson dissents arguing that “an attorney is often overlooked as a party to an appeal…because there is no logical reason or real purpose in naming the

    attorney in the notice of appeal.” He believes the case should be heard on its merits and urges the Supreme Court to review this issue.


    Digested by...

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