Kentucky Court of Justice
Henschel appointed as McCracken Family Court judge
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed Deanna Wise Henschel of Paducah as the Family Court judge for McCracken County. Judge Henschel was appointed Tuesday and will be sworn in at 3:30 p.m. CT Friday in Courtroom A of the McCracken County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend. McCracken County Chief Circuit Court Judge Craig Z. Clymer will conduct the swearing in.
“The Family Court has played a huge role in my life,” Judge Henschel said. “Through foster parenting and adoption, my own family was created within the walls of the family courtroom and my entire career has been in the Family Court. It is a true honor to now be in a position to sit on the other side of the bench. I will work hard to serve families fairly and with respect. It is an honor to be appointed to this position and I hope to serve our community’s families for years to come.”
Judge Henschel was among the three attorneys the Judicial Nominating Commission nominated for the judgeship. The JNC submits three names to the governor and the governor selects the judge. The Family Court seat became vacant when Judge Cynthia E. Sanderson retired on Sept. 16.
At the time of her appointment, Judge Henschel was serving her sixth year as an assistant McCracken County attorney and director of the McCracken County Attorney’s Child Support Office. She also had a private adoption practice that focused on helping foster parents adopt the children they foster.
She received her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2005 and began practicing family law at McMurry & Livingston, where she worked for four years.
Judge Henschel said that she has been able to use her law degree to advocate for families and children in her community. She has served on the board and been a volunteer for the local spouse abuse shelter, the Paducah Head Start Policy Council, the Impact Poverty Task Force and the McCracken County Domestic Relations Clinic.
In 2014, she was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Lawyers Care Volunteer Attorney Program for her work with domestic violence victims and individuals with low incomes. Earlier this year, she was named Young Professional of the Year by the UK College of Law.
Judge Henschel is a Paducah native and resides with her husband, Tim, and their four children.
Family Court is a division of Circuit Court. In counties that have a Family Court, the court has primary jurisdiction in cases involving family issues, including divorces, adoption, child support, domestic violence and juvenile status offenses.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts is the operations arm for the state court system and supports the activities of 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.