Kentucky Child Custody
Looking back, I have not written a basic outline of the law governing child custody in Kentucky.
The first issue Family Court must address in any divorce in Kentucky is child custody. The Judge must decide child custody in the best interest of the child or children.
There are two types of child custody: sole and joint. Family Court must first consider that you can continue to raise your child or children together, which is joint custody. Joint custody means that you will continue to cooperate to make all care and control decisions (i.e. health, education, religious upbringing, welfare, and all other important and unimportant decisions you make for your children).
If Family Court does not believe that joint custody will work, then the Judge may then consider a joint custody arrangement in which one party is the primary decision maker. Typically, your Judge will call the primary decision maker a residential or primary custodian. The residential or primary custodian may unilaterally decide care and control issues if, after first consulting with the other party, no joint decision may be reached.
Finally, if Family Court does not believe that any joint custody arrangement will work, the Court will assign one party sole custody of the children. Sole custody means that one party makes all of the decisions without consultation regarding the care and control of the child or children.
When determining the best interest of your child or children, Family Court has a list of factors to review. Family Court may consider the wishes of the children; the wishes of each parent; the mental, physical, emotional, and moral well-being of each of the parties; the adjustment of the children to each parties’ home, school, community, and extended family; the relationship that each child has with each parent; the relationship that each child has with the extended members of the parties’ families; and the existence of domestic violence.
The controlling statute is KRS 403.270. If you have more questions about Child Custody in Kentucky, I would be happy to talk. Also, please feel free to learn more at jrlloydlaw.com or thelouisvilledivorceattorney.com or thelouisvilledivorcelawyer.com if you are not ready to talk. Thanks for reading.