One of the most difficult parts of a divorce is determining custody and what each parents’ child visitation rights will look like. Often, the two partners engage in a nasty battle, with both sides unwilling to relinquish the thing that’s most important to them. If you’re currently in this situation, you know you’d do anything to keep your kids by your side.
As the premier child custody lawyers in Elizabethtown, we might be able to help with that. Clagett & Barnett Attorneys at Law have years of experience handling difficult child custody cases in Elizabethtown. With our knowledge and expertise in the field, we’ll dedicate all our resources to making sure your children are well taken care of.
What Are the Different Types of Child Custody?
There is not just one kind of child custody. Rather, there are a few different situations recently divorced parents might find themselves in. These can include:
- What Are the Different Types of Child Custody?
There are only two types of Custody in Kentucky and custody is not timesharing. The two types are:
• Joint custody: if the parties have joint custody, they will jointly make all decisions regarding the child, which includes all major decisions regarding substantial questions relating to educational programs, religious upbringing and significant changes in a social environment and health care.
• Sole custody: one parent has full responsibility and decision-making abilities for the child. Sole custody does not mean that the other parent does not have parental rights. The other parent would still have rights to access medical and educational records, they just could not make medical and educational or religious decisions.
How Does Kentucky Determine Custody for Elizabethtown Divorcees?
Kentucky has implemented a shared parenting law that creates the presumption that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interests of the child when both parents are determined to be fit caregivers. This means that shared parenting (i.e. 50/50 parenting) is now the starting point for the child custody discussion and the burden of proof falls upon either party to show that there should be an alternate arrangement. The new law does not mean that judges must grant shared custody to parents in all or even most cases. The court is still allowed to deviate from the default arrangement when it is not practical, or when it goes against the best interests of the child. There are several factors the court considers in determining if the presumption of joint custody and equally-shared parenting time is appropriate. These include:
- The wishes of the parent(s) and the wishes any de facto custodian of the child;
- The child’s relationship with a de facto custodian;
- The wishes of the child, with due consideration to the influence a parent or de facto custodian may have over the child’s wishes;
- The motivation of the adults in the participation of the child custody proceedings;
- The current involvement of each parent in the life of the child;
- The physical and mental health of each parent;
- The level of cooperation between the parents;
- The child’s adjustment and continued proximity to his/her home, school, or community;
- Any finding by the court that domestic violence or abuse has occurred.
It’s a tricky situation, but the courts will do their best to parse through this information and do what’s best. A child custody lawyer can support parents through this process and ensure they are fairly represented at court.
How Does Visitation Work?
Unless a court deems that visitation with one parent would put the child’s moral, mental, emotional, or physical health in danger, both parents are entitled to visitation rights to see their child on a regular basis. This does not mean the parent can pop in whenever they’d like for a visit; rather, the court will set a parenting plan that establishes the frequency and timing of visits. Equal parenting time can be a lot more challenging. Coming up with a 50/50 parenting time arrangement that works for both parents and the child depends largely on the parents’ schedules, how close they live to each other, and other important factorsIt is possible for parents to create their own visitation plan, but if a divorce is not amicable, this can be difficult.
Keep Your Kids With You With a Child Custody Lawyer in Elizabethtown
Every situation is unique, and as mentioned in the previous section, the court is able to consider multiple factors in deciding the appropriate child custody arrangement for each individual case. That said, joint custody and equally shared parenting time is presumed to be in the best interest of the child going into the proceeding.
If a parent disagrees with this presumption, that alone is not enough for the court to deviate from the newly established standard. For this reason, it is important for parents involved in this type of proceeding to have the skilled legal counsel of Clagett & Barnett in your corner to help negotiate a workable arrangement with the other party, or to effectively present their arguments to the court.
If you’re going through a divorce, you need the help of a child custody lawyer to guide you through this process. Call us today at (270) 900-0533 to schedule your free consultation at our Elizabethtown office.