Going through a divorce with young children involved can be challenging, both on an emotional and legal basis. Courts tend to favor the mother when it comes to child support rulings, which is why being the father can make your case more difficult, especially if maintaining your time with your children is important to you.
Being married makes your paternal situation much simpler compared to someone who was not married. For parents who were not married, the father would have to establish paternity using Kentucky’s paternity laws. If the child is yours or if you have been in the child’s life since their birth, you are likely considered their legal father and can move on to determining child custody and visitation rights.
Determining custody rights and visitation
In most cases, the courts award the mother primary child custody while the father will have rights to visitation and will pay an amount to the mother in child support based on what the court decides is fair. The judge acts in the best interest of each child, and if it becomes clear that you are more suitable for full-time care, the mother will then be liable to pay child support to you instead.
The judge will take into consideration:
- The child’s relationship with both parents and any siblings
- The mental and physical health of the child and each parent
- Community, school and home involvement
- The ability of each parent to care and provide for the child
- Records of domestic violence
When the Kentucky courts award a father primary custody, they can utilize the same payment enforcement the state gives mothers who need help obtaining finances from the other parent to help raise the child properly.
Fathers play a big role in a child’s life as they grow up, and being consistently present is incredibly important. If you are experiencing a difficult divorce case and are not sure the court will award you equal custody of your children, speaking with an experienced family lawyer may help prove your case and win fair custody or visitation rights.