Kentucky has long needed a comprehensive family law provision for its long-arm statute. Before the general long-arm statute was amended by the 1992 General Assembly, it addressed only a narrow class of paternity cases among its specific jurisdictional provisions, ignoring the need for long-arm jurisdiction in other domestic relations cases. A second long-arm statute provided jurisdiction over some nonresidents to establish or enforce child support obligations. In the contexts of divorce and child support, Kentucky's failure to claim constitutionally available jurisdiction deprived Kentucky residents of important protection.
Recent amendments to Kentucky statutes fill previous gaps and expand Kentucky's jurisdiction in significant ways. This Article addresses Kentucky's jurisdictional expansion in terms of its compliance with traditional minimum contacts analysis and in relation to the effect of developments in national child support policy on future jurisdictional rules. Part I of this Article explains the traditional rules of divorce jurisdiction and the basic concepts underlying those traditions, as well as the constitutional controls on jurisdiction in family law cases. Part II analyzes and explains the provisions of the new long-arm statute. Finally, Part III considers the relationship between jurisdiction, choice of law, and full faith and credit as they relate to state interests in setting child support obligations within a federal system.
Louise Everett Graham, Starting Down the Road to Reform: Kentucky's New Long-Arm Statute for Family Obligations, 81 Ky. L.J. 585 (1993).