KentuckyChild Custody Law
Kentucky Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
Child custody is defined as the guardianship over a child, which covers both physical custody and legal custody. In a child custody dispute the court may award joint custody to both parents or sole custody to a single parent.
Child custody cases in Kentucky can be either contested and resolved by court order, or noncontested and defined in a child custody agreement between the parents. A custody agreement or order will legally determine, at minimum, the following things:
- Where the child lives (physical custody)
- Who is involved in making parenting decisions (legal custody)
- How the visitation schedule with non-custodial parents or relatives is arranged
This page describes how a contested child custody case is handled in the Kentucky court system, and what factors are used to determine which parent gets custody.
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After a breakup or divorce in Kentucky, couples with children must come to a child custody agreement that describes which parent the children will live with, how visitation will be scheduled, and how the non-custodial parent will pay child support.
Some of the factors considered by Kentucky in child custody cases include the child's wishes and any history of domestic violence.
What Factors Help Determine Custody?The court shall consider all relevant factors including:
(a)The wishes of the child's parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody;
(b)The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
(c)The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
(d)The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community;
(e)The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(f)Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720;
(g)The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian;
(h)The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian
(i)The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720 and whether the child was placed with a de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek employment, work, or attend school.(3)The court shall not consider conduct of a proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship to the child.
If the parents are on amicable terms they may agree to custody terms in a parenting agreement between themselves, or via a mediator. If child custody is disputed, however, they will have to receive a child custody order from a Kentucky judge, who will attempt to make a custody decision that is in the "best interests of the child".
In the state of Kentucky, a number of factors are taken into account by the courts when determining who gets child custody. This section describes Kentucky's custody factors, considerations, and presumptions when evaluating a custody order.
Is there a set list of statutory factors for calculating child custody in the state of Kentucky?
Kentucky has a list of statutory factors that are considered by the court when determining a custody order. This list may include factors such as the child's age, the living situation of each parent, any history of abuse or neglect from either parent, etc. Although there is a statutory list of factors, consider other factors at its discretion depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
Do judges in the state of Kentucky favor joint custody?
Judges in Kentucky are authorized to order either joint or single-parent custody of a child subject to a custody dispute.
Courts in Kentucky do not have a presumption in favor joint custody orders when evaluating child custody. The judge will evaluate the specifics of the custody dispute to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
Do Kentucky courts encourage parents to cooperate together to raise the child?
It is not particularly encouraged that the parents cooperative together to raise the child.
Are the child's wishes considered when determining custody in the state of Kentucky?
In Kentucky, the court does consider the child's reasonable wishes when determining which parent wins custody. The judge may take the child's age, maturity, and judgement into consideration when considering the child's custody preference.
Do Kentucky courts consider domestic violence when determining custody?
Kentucky has laws that explicitly permit the consideration of domestic violence in conjunction with child custody. This may mean that domestic violence is a statutory factor in custody determinations, that the court has a presumption against custody for abusers, or that special procedural considerations are imposed in cases involving domestic violence.
Do the courts in the state of Kentucky have the right to hire an attorney or Guardian Ad Litem to represent the child?
Kentucky does not have statutory authority for appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for a child specifically in child custody case. This person would usually advocate for the best interest of the child.