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Shared parenting a priority in Kentucky

When two parents do not agree on how to divide child custody, it can bring out a lot of emotions on both sides. The decision falls on a judge, who has to consider what is best for the child. This can feel unfair to parents who feel a court doesn't fully know the dynamics of their family.

Fathers can feel particularly helpless in this case, worrying that the assumption will be that a mother is best suited for childcare and will have a better advantage in a custody dispute. Thankfully, Kentucky law makes sure this isn't a factor.

Shared parenting emphasized in recent law

Last year the state legislature passed an amendment that creates a presumption of joint custody in temporary custody orders, which helps guarantee equal parenting time while a final order is being discussed. Upon signing it into law, Governor Matt Bevin said its passing would make it more likely for children to see both parents regularly after a divorce and take away the winner-win-all situations in custody cases.

When it comes to final custody decisions, the court makes its decision based on the best interests of the child. A child's own wishes are also considered, and Kentucky law does not specify an age at which those wishes must be considered. By comparison, Indiana courts will allow a child to state their own preferences, but not until they are 11 years old.

Child custody disputes can be harrowing, but the law provides protection for any parent to receive a fair custody and parenting time agreement, as long as the child's best interests are preserved.

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