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Fathers Enjoy Equal Parenting Rights in Kentucky

Kentucky passed a new law last week which presumes equal parenting time for both parents. As such, Father's rights groups applaud the new law. The new law KRS 403.280 (link to House Bill) applies to temporary orders for custody rights. The law states, in pertinent part: there shall be a presumption, rebuttable by a preponderance of evidence, that the parents (or de facto custodian) shall have temporary joint custody and shall share equally in parenting time. The law on custody has for the past 20 years been gender neutral, although there remains a child support caveat that you cannot impute income to a mother with a child under 4 years of age. There has been no such presumptions in the law of any parenting schedule. As a result, many of the counties have created local rules where "Standard Parenting Schedules" have been put in place by local family law judges and domestic relations commissioners for years. These standard schedules often reverted to mother being the primary residential parent and father having parenting time one or two nights (often not overnight) each week and alternate weekends. These local rules set the precedence for more permanent Orders which often followed. Of course, with a primary parent also followed child support which is nearly always from the Father to the Mother. The guidelines were first drafted with a presumption of a primary residential parent and was intended to provide a similar standard of living for the child in each household. Currently, each judge has their own way of typically handling child support and offset in a shared parenting situation. Those vary from FULL support in some counties/divisions and with complete offset in others. With shared parenting time being presumed, the legislature would be wise to address how to handle child support in such a situation. If you have a custody or divorce and need advice, contact an experienced family law attorney. For consultation in Campbell, Kenton or Boone counties, call Bouldin Law Firm and schedule a time with Michael Bouldin. Call 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. Call 581-MIKE today.

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