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Why Kentucky favors joint custody and equal visitation schedules

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation

Kentucky stands out as the nationwide pioneer in advocating for children to have equal time with both parents. This is particularly relevant for children who primarily live in one-parent households. Understanding this concept is essential to comprehend how Kentucky reaches a final court order in child custody cases.

The “rebuttable presumption” and psychology behind it

Kentucky law starts from the premise that joint custody and equal visitation schedules are in the child’s best interests. This is what is known as a “rebuttable presumption.” But what drives this presumption?

Research reveals that children often do better when they can sustain strong relationships with both parents post-divorce. A balanced visitation schedule helps to facilitate this, allowing the child to spend an equal amount of time with each parent.

The presumption is “rebuttable” because either parent can challenge it in court. If one parent can provide evidence that such an arrangement is not in the child’s best interest, the court may rule otherwise.

Determining what’s best for a child

While the rebuttable presumption provides a starting point, the specifics of each case can influence the final custody and visitation arrangements. Courts consider a variety of factors when determining the best interests of a child, including:

  • The wishes of the parents and child The psychological and physical health of relevant parties
  • The child’s adjustment to a certain parent’s home
  • The potential impact of parental decisions on the child’s development
  • The child’s personal preferences, if age-appropriate to consider
  • Other relevant factors

Ultimately, Kentucky pushes for shared parenting to ensure the child’s overall well-being. The best way to achieve this is by helping kids to maintain a strong, equal relationship with both parents. This critical factor, among others considered by the court, contributes to Kentucky’s typical approach of awarding joint custody, where both parents share decision-making and time with the child.

For co-parents, understanding these considerations and their potential impact on their case is important, but it can be complex. A legal professional can help navigate these complexities and provide support throughout the child custody proceedings.