Generally speaking, a child's custodial parent is the one he or she lives with most of the time. However, Kentucky parents shouldn't assume that this is always the case. A court may require a parent to actually file for custody in family court even if the other parent isn't supporting the child financially or in other ways. This can be done either with an attorney or by filing pro se without one.
It is also worth noting that a noncustodial parent can still play a significant role in a child's life. In some cases, both parents will work together to raise their child regardless of who actually has custody. As part of helping to raise a child, the noncustodial parent will likely be required to make child support payments. The exact amount of each payment will be determined by his or her income a well as other state guidelines.
As a general rule, the custodial parent spends more time with the child and provides the most support or guidance. This is often considered the biggest benefit to obtaining this label. A son or daughter is generally appreciative of the effort put in even if they don't say it until they are older.
A parent who is seeking a favorable outcome in a child custody case will need to show that obtaining custody is in the best interest of the child. This could be done by presenting evidence of a stable home life, the presence of a steady income or other factors that may seem favorable. An attorney might be able to help a parent obtain either sole or joint custody.