Divorce may happen all over the country, and throughout the world, but where the process takes place can greatly affect the aftermath of the split. This is especially true when it comes to child custody agreements. The State of Kentucky, like all states, has state-specific laws that determine how custody is distributed in custody agreements.
Like many other states, Kentucky uses the "best interests of the child" standard when determining how custody should be awarded. Factors that can play a part in a court's decision go well beyond each parent's demonstrated capabilities to perform parental responsibilities. They may include both the parents and the child's wishes, the nature of each parent's bond with the child and practical matters like school and neighborhood adjustment. There are also factors that disadvantage one or another parent, such as any history of abuse.
While joint custody is often prescribed in Kentucky, the court retains the right to award sole custody when it is deemed appropriate. Visitation privileges may also be awarded to grandparents who wish to assert their grandparents' rights to visit the child, even in cases where their child (one of the parents) is deceased.
A child's wishes are considered a relevant factor in a custody hearing. However, unlike some other states, Kentucky does not have a declared age where a child's wishes become relevant to a custody hearing and must be considered.
Child custody agreements do not have to be battles, but if your custody negotiations are becoming more and more combative, you may need to seek professional representation. The guidance of a qualified attorney with experience in complex child custody battles can help you maintain a clear perspective and protect your rights as you fight for the best life for your child.
Source: FindLaw, "Kentucky Child Custody Laws," accessed Sep. 30, 2016