A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Candidates: Dawn Gentry wants to remain Kenton County Family Court Judge

As the Kenton County Family Court Judge, a loving mother of two daughters and wife, and a former family-law practitioner for more than a decade, I am uniquely qualified to continue my important work serving the bench with integrity and honor.

Professional experience

As the Family Court Judge, I fight on the front line of the drug epidemic. I regularly confront the consequences and aftereffects of this battle. Drug addiction is often discovered first in Family Court, particularly cases involving children of dependency, neglect, and abuse. As a judge, I make tough decisions and undertake interdiction efforts to protect children in these distressing situations. These efforts help to address addictive behavior before it creates a larger problem for families and our community.

Dawn Gentry

When I decide cases involving children, the first question I ask myself is, “What is in the best interest of this child or children and families?”

When appropriate, I try to reunify children with their parents, but only if these parents have met the legal requirements. In other cases, my only choice may be to remove children from the dangerous environment and place them in more appropriate settings; such as family members, family friends, or foster homes.

Prior to becoming the Family Court Judge, I practiced all areas of family law for more than a decade. My legal career includes collaborative law, which enables couples to resolve their cases without the time and stress of litigation. I worked as a pro-bono attorney for Casey’s Law clients. This Law allows parents, relatives, and friends of substance-impaired persons to petition the court for treatment for loved ones.

Life experience

As one of two daughters raised by a single mother in Erlanger, I have experienced firsthand the family-court system. These experiences, as well as being a mother, my work as a family-law practitioner, and my involvement with the community has made me acutely aware of the importance the courts play in families lives. My experiences give me a deep understanding of what children and parents go through during a divorce or separation.

My two half-sisters lived with foster families while growing up. I learned the importance of the foster-care system and its critical safety role for children. I’ve come to rely upon these important caregivers to help protect children when their parents are not capable of doing so themselves.

My mother’s experience helped me to appreciate the skills of single parents to raise successful, accomplished adults on their own. As a graduate of Covington Latin School, Northern Kentucky University, and Salmon P. Chase College of Law and Kenton County’s Family Court Judge, I’m a living example of this truth.

As a wife and working mother of two young daughters, I also know how fortunate it is when both parents are involved in the lives of their children, working together for their benefit.

Changes that Save Time and Money

In two years I have saved taxpayers One Million Dollars while still providing fair and efficient hearing. I implemented numerous changes in my courtroom to save time and money for litigants.

One of the duties of my Case Specialist is to provide mediation at zero cost to attorneys and litigants. This service saves money while providing citizens the option of reaching impartial resolution.

As the serving Family Court Judge, I have the judicial experience as well life knowledge, to be the best choice to remain Kenton County’s Family Court Judge.

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