On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in child custody on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
When most men and women become parents, the idea that they might one day end up in court fighting over their children likely never enters their minds. It is an unfortunate reality, however, that many couples, married or not, engage in a child custody dispute when the relationship turns sour. Since most parents entering such a dispute likely have no experience in this area, some basic information about custody in Kentucky may be useful.
There are two basic forms of custody, joint and sole. Joint custody is the most common arrangement ordered by judges; an award of sole custody typically happens in cases with an absent or abusive parent. Both parents remain responsible for the upbringing of the child or children, and must make important decisions together.
Joint custody is then broken down into residential and legal custody. The child will primarily live with the parent who has physical custody. The remaining parent has legal custody, referring to his or her right to help make decisions about the child’s welfare. There are many factors for a judge to consider before awarding residential custody, including the age and gender of the child, the mental and physical health of all parties, and the relationships between the child and his or her parents. It is worth noting that the court does not favor mothers over fathers and will always rule based on the best interests of the child.
Naturally, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Child custody cases can become complex, and they are always emotional. The best strategy for a successful outcome may be to work with an experienced lawyer. A lawyer’s understanding of family law in Kentucky could make the difference to a parent in a very important matter.