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Will Kentucky House Bill 528 affect your custody arrangements?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation

If you’re a parent who is anticipating divorce, it’s important to know that significant reforms aimed at creating more balanced and equitable systems for child custody arrangements have recently been enacted. One of the most notable legislative changes is Kentucky House Bill 528 (HB 528). It was enacted in 2018 to encourage shared parenting.

This legislation is pivotal because it prioritizes equal shared parental rights and responsibilities following a divorce. Therefore, its very existence can help to prevent worry about fighting to stay in your child’s life. Family courts already presume joint custody even before your divorce proceedings begin.

The presumption of joint custody

Before HB 528 was legislated, judges preserved the discretion to determine custody arrangements during divorce proceedings. After this pivotal bill was enacted, the starting point for all custody determination is equal parental rights and responsibilities for each parent.

Therefore, you can expect you and your soon-to-be ex to be awarded joint custody of the children. However, if either of you demonstrate a compelling reason for the court to reconsider, sole custody may be awarded.

The intent and scope of HB 528

The legislators of HB 528 believe that children are entitled to having meaningful relationships with both parents. However, they acknowledge that an equal split in parenting time may not be ideal in instances where there is a history of domestic violence or abuse.

Equal parental rights and responsibilities are the starting points in any custody arrangement. You have the right to challenge this presumption if you can present compelling evidence that another arrangement would better serve your child’s interests.

For example, if you can demonstrate that your partner’s main motivation for joint custody is a desire to control you, evidence proving narcissism can weaken the case for joint custody. Moreover, if your partner never made any efforts to establish a bond with the kids during the marriage, they may only advocate for joint custody out of spite. Evidence of their indifference can help you secure another custody arrangement that’s ideal for the kids.

Kentucky House Bill 528 represents a significant shift towards shared parenting, reflecting a broader societal recognition of the importance of both parents in a child’s life. However, legislators acknowledge that equal parental rights and responsibilities may not be ideal for all circumstances. Regardless of which custody arrangement you believe is ideal for your kids, you can learn more about how the new law applies to your situation by seeking personalized guidance.