Kentucky Divorce Custody
Kentucky divorce custody battles are settled after considering the best interest of the child. Courts may award joint custody to both the parents if that is considered suitable for the welfare, safety and overall growth and development of the child.
Factors while considering joint custody for the child:
- Kentucky divorce custody courts often determine if the parents are willing to co-operate with each other in matters related to their child’s schooling, medical issues, religious practices etc. Parents who encourage the involvement of the other parent in the life of the child are considered for joint custody.
- In such situations, the parent who is more likely to adhere to the parenting plan, respect the custody rights of the other parent, regularly attend parent counseling programs (if suggested by the courts) and does not alienate the child from the other parent, is most likely to get the physical custody of the child. The other parent gets the visitation rights and can get access to child’s weekends, holidays etc.
- If a parent is involved in child abuse, child neglect or is proven to be alcoholic, or indulges in substance abuse etc, then that parent may not get even visitation rights. In such a case, only one parent is awarded sole physical and sole legal custody of the child and that parent is responsible for taking the legal, educational, medical and religious decisions of the child.
- Physical custody of the child is an important matter. Kentucky courts try to determine the parent-child relationship to understand which parent should be allowed to keep the child. Who supports the child well in emotional duress? What is the extent of bonding between the parent and the child? Such questions are addressed while discussing the issue of custody.
- The actual wishes and interests of the parents are also given significance. Kentucky divorce custody laws specify that the wishes of the parents should be such that they are capable of fulfilling the needs of the child. The parent who fits the bill is generally awarded the custody of the child.
- While awarding custody, the mental and physical health of the parents are considered to see their fitness and capability of raising their child. If a parent suffers from any mental ailment or physical problem, then he/she is not likely to be considered for custody.
- The parent who offers a stable community to the child, whom perhaps the child is used to, is preferred in child custody cases. Relocating of a parent after divorce is considered detrimental for the child as it is known to antagonize the child who has already undergone the trauma of his parents’ separation. If the community is safe and suits the best interests of the child, then the parent, who offers one, is likely to get the custody of the child.
- De facto custody is awarded in conditions where a non-parent is seen to have developed a special bond with the child and the parents of the child are unfit or incapable of raising the child. That non-parent can be the grandparent as well. If the child has been in the care of the non-parent for a minimum of 6 months, then Kentucky divorce custody laws specify that the non-parent may get the custody of the child. This situation is accepted only if it is in the best interests of the child.
- A parent who is known to be a child offender, indulged in child abuse, child neglect or is an alcoholic or a drug addict, does not get the custody of the child. Kentucky divorce custody laws ensure that the welfare, safety and care of the child are given the top most priority.
- A parent who has abandoned the child owing to fear of domestic violence from the other spouse, is still considered for child custody. Indulging in domestic violence is a serious crime in the eyes of the child custody laws and the offender may not get custody and sometimes not be entitled to visitation rights as well.