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Who is given preference in child custody cases -- mom or dad?

In contested custody cases, it is difficult to say what the outcome will be. Most fathers are likely to think that their wishes do not matter and that the mother's wants have priority. There was a time that this was true. However, things are changing, and, at the end of the day, the goal of

child custody cases in Kentucky is to ensure a situation that suits the best interests of the child.

If you are preparing to go through a contested custody case, here is some information you need to know about how a judge will determine how the final order is written.

The best interests of the child

What exactly does this mean? After all, every parent has different ideas of what is best for his or her child. To a judge, this statement means putting a child in a situation in which he or she will be able to grow and develop physically, mentally and emotionally. It means putting him or her

in a place where he or she can succeed due to strong family and community support.

What are the factors used to determine the best custody arrangement for a

child?

There is actually a fairly extensive list of items that judges look at before making decisions about custody cases. As a judge is looking in from the outside, reviewing this information gives him or her a better sense of who the child and parents are, what their relationships are like and how

different custody arrangements would affect them down the line. Some of the biggest determining factors in child custody cases include:

  • Wishes of the parents
  • Wishes of the child
  • Parent/child relationships
  • Living arrangements
  • Mental and physical health of each family member
  • History of drug, alcohol or physical abuse

So, who is given preference in child custody cases? It really is not mom or dad, it is the child. In Kentucky, just like most other states, many family law courts are leaning toward joint custody arrangements. This allows the child to have time pretty evenly divided between each parent, which can prove to have significant emotional benefits to the child. However, there are reasons that sole physical custody may need to be awarded to one parent.

If you are facing a contested custody case, an experienced family law attorney can help you get through it as you work to achieve a custody plan that fits your child's best interests.

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