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Understanding sole and joint child custody in Kentucky

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation

Grasping the various aspects of child custody is crucial for parents facing separation. For instance, parents have to explore the distinction between sole and joint custody, providing further understanding on how Kentucky custody laws determine the best interest of the child and the implications for co-parenting arrangements.

Sole versus joint in physical custody

Physical custody pertains to the residence and daily care of a child.

If the court awards shared physical custody, the child takes turns living with each parent. In these cases, the usual setup is for one parent to physically care for their child for half a week and relinquish these duties to the other parent for the other half. Nonetheless, other schedules are possible depending on the unique circumstances of each case.

If the court awards sole custody to one parent, then only they have the right to live with the child. However, courts usually allow the other parent visitation rights.

In both cases, the court provides the parenting time and visitation schedules and terms, if the parents cannot agree on their own.

Sole versus joint in legal custody

Legal custody refers to parents’ right to make important life decisions about their child, such as those involving the child’s education, healthcare and religion.

In Kentucky, courts initially presume that joint legal custody is best for the child’s well-being, allowing both parents to have an active role in furthering the child’s growth and development. However, if the court finds that a parent is unfit to make these decisions, such as those dealing with substance abuse disorders, then it can award sole custody to the other parent, as long as they are fit.

The importance of navigating custody laws

Understanding child custody laws—from sole to joint legal and physical custody—is essential for parents preparing a new chapter for their family. By prioritizing the child’s well-being, parents, with the guidance of the courts and legal aids, can achieve balanced and fair custody outcomes.