Although family courts in many Kentucky counties are closed today due to snow, the eCourts project in the Commonwealth took a step forward today with the announcement of certain domestic and family law cases now being available for electronic filing.
E-Filing is planned to be available in all Kentucky counties by the end of 2015, and has been available in certain counties for civil cases for several months. Today, however, marks the first time that divorce attorneys and others who are registered with the filing system can file documents in divorce, legal separation, and child custody / visitation/ support cases.
Thirty-seven (37) counties in Kentucky are now e-filing, including the local counties of Bullitt, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer. Jefferson County is the last region scheduled to be brought onto the system. See the full rollout map here.
Eligible family court cases must have a "CI" in the case number, which means that filing electronically in domestic violence (D) or paternity (J) cases is not yet available.
New cases that can be filed online are as follows:
- Petition for dissolution of marriage (contested or uncontested, with or without children)
- Petition for Legal Separation
- Petition for Child Custody or Visitation
- Petition for Child Support
Subsequent filings that can be processed online, in addition to other motions or documents specifically for "Domestic & Family" cases, include:
- pendente lite motions
- child support motions
- court scheduling and docketing
- evidentiary and discovery matters
- modification and enforcement
A note to divorce lawyers and their staff: filing the VS-300 form must be completed by uploading the form in addition to filing an original VS-300 with the local circuit court clerk. So a decree will not be issued until the filer mails or hand-delivers a physical copy to the clerk's office.
Also, don't forget about re-opening fees. The statewide family court rules require a fee of $50.00 to be paid in domestic relations cases once six (6) months has passed from the divorce decree and either side wants to modify the order. When filing a motion using the online system, you must answer “Does this motion ask to reopen the case and modify the decree after six months of its entry?” Failing to pay the required fee will result in the motion being rejected.
Anyone interested in registering to become an eFiler who has not already been trained can find more info here: http://courts.ky.gov/efiling/Pages/training.aspx