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What Does Joint Custody Mean in Kentucky?

Joint custody is the right of both parents to participate in the decision making process of issues which affect the child.  It does not include day-to-day decisions such as which shoes to wear or what to serve for dinner.  It generally does include decisions such as: which school will the child attend, what religion will the child be raised (and if to baptise), which extracurricular activities to participate and medical decisions.  Generally, either party has the right to make emergency medical decisions but must notify the other parent as soon as practical of any medical emergencies. Joint custodians determine what course of action to take for non-emergency decisions such as elective surgeries, immunization and dental braces.  The basis for making a custodial decision is found in KRS 403.270. Joint custody is preferred in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and can be ordered despite disagreement between the parties.  Before fighting for sole custody, a parent should discuss the entirety of the mater with their attorney to ascertain their chances of a sole custody award.  Other consideration should be given to the underlying reason(s) for requesting sole custody.

KRS 403.330 states (1) Except as otherwise agreed by the parties in writing at the time of the custody decree, the custodian may determine the child's upbringing, including his education, health care, and religious training, unless the court after hearing, finds, upon motion by the noncustodial parent, that in the absence of a specific limitation of the custodian's authority, the child's physical health would be endangered or his emotional development significantly impaired.

If you have questions or concerns about custody, speak with your attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453.

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