Family law judges in Kentucky and around the country tend to favor co-parenting arrangements whenever possible because research shows that the children of divorce are less likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems when they spend time with both of their parents. Divorced parents are usually able to put their differences aside when the welfare of their children is at stake, but even the most amicable child custody and visitation arrangements can become difficult when one of the parents remarries.
The divorce process means making many changes, particularly if there are children involved. This process can be even more challenging for many Kentucky parents when it includes co-parenting teenagers. There are some things, however, that parents should avoid, to continue providing a safe, supportive environment for their teenagers as they grow.
The landscape for parents in Kentucky who get a divorce has changed significantly over the past several decades. While many divorced fathers in the past may have rarely seen their children afterwards, courts today are open to the possibility of joint physical custody. Legal custody, which is usually shared, refers to which parent has the right to make decisions about a child's education, medical care, religion and other major issues while physical custody refers to with whom the child lives.
Parents in Kentucky who are getting a divorce may create a parenting schedule, or a judge might make one for them. These negotiations may be difficult for parents, but they should be aware that if they go to court, one parent could end up with even less time with the child than the other parent originally offered.
As Kentucky parents go through the divorce process, they often focus on how the separation may affect their children. This is especially important when considering questions of child custody. There is a line of thought that says that granting sole custody to the mother is in the best interests of the child. Individuals who share this philosophy believe that infants and toddlers fare better when they are able to spend the night in the same home as their mothers. This has led to a number of fathers accepting an arrangement where the mother has sole custody.
Kentucky parents who are getting divorced should keep in mind that joint custody, not sole custody, is generally considered the best option for children. One psychologist published a study that concluded that shared parenting should be the norm for all children, including infants and toddlers. The study, which analyzed dozens of scientific studies on shared parenting and joint custody, came to the conclusion that prohibiting even young children from overnight stays with their non-custodial parents goes against modern understanding of child development.
Parents who are separated or going through a divorce in Kentucky may have questions about how the court will determine custody. While determinations can vary depending on the state, judge and even the court itself, they tend to follow a predictable set of guidelines.
Kentucky parents headed for divorce or separation are typically most concerned about the custody arrangements for their children. Depending upon the nature of the relationship between the parents, custodial agreements can take various forms. When parents get along well or have demonstrated an ability to set differences aside for the benefit of children, a true co-parenting relationship can exist. Such an arrangement involves having a general agreement regarding what is best for the kids and a willingness to make that a priority above all else.
Noncustodial parents living in Kentucky or any other state are generally allowed to see their children. Courts grant visitation rights to noncustodial parents in an effort to nurture an important bond between the parent and child. However, custodial parents may worry about the health and safety of their children during these periods of visitation. In some cases, a custodial parent can refuse to let a son or daughter visit with the other parent.
The legal system in Kentucky has yet to catch up with the fact that an increasing number of children are not born to married parents. Current births to unmarried parents account for 40 percent of births. In 2007, the rate of births to unmarried parents was only 18 percent. The trend has raised the number of birth certificates that do not list fathers.