Whitley and McCreary counties will soon have a new domestic relations commissioner, and he is a familiar face.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble, who is leaving office Dec. 31 after serving 31 years as the county’s head prosecutor, has agreed to accept the domestic relations commissioner position, and will technically start the new job on Jan. 1 even though there is no court that day.
“Allen has a lot of experience in the court system. He should do a fine job as the domestic relations commissioner,” said Whitley Circuit Court Clerk Gary Barton.
It has been several years since Whitley County has had a domestic relations commissioner.
“They do the hearings for divorces when divorces are contested, and have hearings on them, which can take up to all day. He will do the hearings and then make recommendations to the judge,” Barton explained.
Circuit Judges Dan Ballou and Paul Winchester said they selected Trimble for the position in part because of his many years of experience working in the legal system.
“He is very level headed. He is very fair. He will do a good job,” Ballou said.
Ballou said having a domestic relations commissioner will benefit people in Whitley and McCreary counties in a number of ways.
It will benefit divorce attorneys and their clients because they will have more options on hearing dates, and will be able to get those hearings sooner.
“It should help move the cases along a lot faster now. The wait to get a hearing will be cut way down. It should help in that way,” Winchester explained.
Ballou added that it will help with criminal court too because with fewer domestic related hearings, both circuit judges will be free to schedule more criminal trial dates, which will also move criminal cases along faster.
“It helps everyone I think,” Ballou added.
Ballou said that he will likely administer the oath of office to Trimble on Jan. 7, which is the next date he has motion hour when multiple civil cases will be on the docket.
Trimble’s first court date will be Jan. 10 in Whitley County, and Jan. 17 in McCreary County.
After that, Trimble can schedule hearings as he sees fit, Ballou said.