The current session of the Kentucky General Assembly is considering a number of bills that would affect Family Law Cases.
Senate Bill 57: This bill would require the Vital Statistics Office to provide the VS300 form in electronic format printable from the computer. Right now many offices keep a typewriter around solely for this form. This really will have little effect on parties to family law cases unless they are pro se litigants, but for family law practitioners it is a long time coming.
House Bill 35: This bill would allow courts to provide for maintenance payments by wage assignment, electronic funds transfer or other direct automatic payment method. After seeing numerous cases where a paying spouse is consistently late with maintenance payments that are needed by the receiving spouse for basic needs, this is a bill whose time has come as well.
House Bill 76: This bill amends the paternity act to include a child born to a married woman by another man. I believe most judges I practice in front of already applied the statute in this manner, but this appears to simply clarify that that is the proper procedure.
House Bill 186: This is one of the proposed changes to the domestic violence statutes that were only recently overhauled with the passage of Amanda's Law. This bill would again include members of a "dating relationship" as part of the class of individuals eligible to file for an emergency protective order/domestic violence order. This language was in the original proposed Amanda's Law, but was removed before final passage and rightfully so. As it stands, this bill would allow an EPO to be filed if the parties are eighteen or older and ". . . have or have had relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. . . " The court would have to determine if there was a "dating relationship" based on the length and nature of the relationship and the "frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved . . . ." I believed this was a mistake when it was considered in 2010 and I still think it is a mistake.
At present there are 295 bills pending in the Kentucky House and 108 in the Senate. As always, if you have any thoughts pro or con on the bills I have mentioned or any others, you are encouraged to contact your state representatives.