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Nicole Bearse was born and raised in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts and graduated cum laude from Lesley University with a BS in Human Services.  She then relocated to Lexington, Kentucky, where she received her JD from the University of Kentucky, College of Law in 2003.  Nicole is now a member of the American Bar Association, through which she is a member of the Section of Family Law.  She is also a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and is a past President of the Franklin County Bar Association.  Nicole is also a fellow with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which is comprised of the top matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation.

Following law school, Nicole worked as staff attorney to Hon. O. Reed Rhorer, Family Court, 48th Judicial Circuit, Frankfort, Kentucky for nearly three years.  Thereafter, Nicole began practicing primarily in the areas of family law and mediation.  Nicole is a Certified General Civil Mediator, with a specialization in Family Mediation.  Her experiences as a mediator allowed her to assist in coaching others to become mediators through the Administrative Office of the Courts.  She is also a trained Guardian ad Litem and enjoys representing children in dependency, neglect and abuse, adoption and termination of parental rights cases.

Additionally, Nicole is the Franklin County Bar Association representative sitting on the Board of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, for which she also serves as the Secretary.  Nicole resides in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and two daughters.

Practice Areas

  • Family Law, including:

               Child custody
               Child dependency, neglect and abuse
               Child support
               Domestic Violence
              Grandparents custody and visitation
              Legal Separations
              Pre-Marital and Post-Nuptial Agreements
              Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

             Termination of parental rights
             Third party custody


  • Kentucky, 2004
  • United States District Court, Western District, 2013
  • United States District Court, Eastern District, 2013
  • United States Court of Appeals, 2013


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2003
  • Lesley University, Human Services cum laude B.S., 2000


Associations & memberships

  • Kentucky Bar Association — Section of Family Law Member
  • American Bar Association — Section of Family Law Member
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers — Fellow, 2019- present
  • Franklin County Bar Association — President, 2014 -2015; President-Elect, 2013-2014
  • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass — Secretary, 2014-present; Board Member, 2008-present
  • Lesley University Alumni Council — President, 2014-2017; Past-President, 2017-2018; Vice President, 2013-2014; Member, 2008-2018; Council Affairs Committee Member, 2019-present.

Johnson Bearse, LLP serves clients throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.