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On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

When a marriage has ended — or non-married parents no longer see eye-to-eye on raising their children — there are several parenting options that may provide a suitable solution. The answer to who will be awarded child custody is seldom an easy proposition and often requires difficult decisions to be made. Kentucky parents have many aspects to consider when trying to resolve this issue.

One of the first considerations is whether parents can work amicably together in raising their children. There are many who can arrive at a co-parenting agreement that would result in them choosing a joint custody arrangement for their children. Out-of-court agreements enable parents to determine the custody or visitation schedule that will best meet the needs of the parties involved. However, not all parents can arrive at a mutually agreeable plan and may require the input of a family court judge.

In these cases, a judge takes various factors into consideration, including the fitness of each parent and whether he or she can meet the needs of the child. In addition, some courts will also take the child’s preference into consideration, providing that this will result in the optimal plan for him or her. Parents can be awarded either joint legal and/or physical custody, or one may be awarded sole custody, depending on each unique situation.

Some courts will require that parents attempt to resolve a child custody dispute through mediation or other methods. If this is not successful, then the court will determine custody based on the best interest of the child involved. There are also circumstances where a grandparent or other relative may seek to be awarded visitation or custody that necessitates the involvement of a family court. Kentucky residents who are working to determine the best options for their children may benefit from the guidance of an experienced and compassionate family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, “Custody Considerations: Step-By-Step“, Accessed on March 12, 2018

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