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Child Custody Archives

Can I Get Custody?

Legal Custody must be determined by a court in Kentucky. The family courts retain jurisdiction over custody, whether born during a marriage or outside of marriage.  Unlike Ohio, where juvenile court has different rules for unwed parents, both wed and unwed parents in Kentucky can petition for custody in a similar fashion. KRS 403.270 outlines the custodial interests for both wed and unwed parents. If the parents are unable to agree on custody and parenting, the Courts will make the determination.  The determination is based on the best interest of the minor child.  Those are outlined in 403.270, but are set forth follows: (a) The wishes of the child's parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody; (b) The wishes of the child as to his custodian; (c) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests; (d) The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community; (e) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved; (f) Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720; (g) The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian; (h) The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian; and (i) The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720 and whether the child was placed with a de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek employment, work, or attend school. If you have questions, concerns or need to speak to or retain an attorney, call Michael Bouldin at Bouldin Law Firm.  Having practiced family and custody law for 22 years, you will get the answers.  Remember, don't just look for the answers you want, look for the right answers. For a consultation, email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) to schedule.

Joint Legal Custody & Shared Time

New parental rights bill finally approved. See FULL TEXT. This gives a presumption of equal parenting rights and time in TEMPORARY orders. Question: Does it apply to permanent custody and timesharing? What about parents who have provided majority of custody? While the law spells out that there is a rebuttable presumption, it does not say what is necessary to rebut that presumption. The law states the burden of proof on the party opposing, but not the standard of what is necessary to rebut. For legal advice, contact an attorney. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

What Are My Rights To Custody?

A father's rights are typically the same as the mother... at some point. However: Father's rights vary state to state. In Ohio, an unwed father has no rights and the mother is considered the custodial parent until a court orders otherwise. In general, Ohio mothers have superior rights to the fathers. In Kentucky, father's have limited rights until paternity is established. Once paternity is established, father's rights are the same as the mother's rights. In Kentucky if the child is born during marriage, the parents have equal rights.. Father's rights vary whether you were married at the time the child was born or if the parents were unmarried. If the parties were unmarried, the father's rights are often limited. Once paternity is established, father can be granted certain rights by law and others by a court. If the case is in Ohio, parental rights of unwed parents are established by the Juvenile Court. Married parties have their rights established by the Common Pleas Court in domestic relations division. Kentucky uses "Family Courts" for all cases, however unwed parents typically start and may remain in juvenile court while married parties have their case heard in Circuit Court. Father's rights often vary if you were named on the birth certificate or not. If you were on the birth certificate, you may have rights prior to a court order of paternity. Signing the birth certificate establishes some rights and acknowledges paternity. If the parties live in separate states, rights may vary. Many parents are concerned about moving across state lines. If an action is brought in one state, the other may If you have questions about custody rights, you need to speak to an attorney who regularly practices in the area of family law. Most often you will have to file for custody, but may also have to file even for visitation and/or paternity. For a consultation in Kentucky or Ohio, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

Custody for the Holidays! Best Gift Ever!!

Give the best gift ever this holiday season! Legal Services for a loved one. What's the best gift you could give a loved one or adult child?  How about custody of their children, the divorce they've been waiting for, or visitation with grandparents?  Precious time with children and getting rid of the stress of a failed marriage is essential to moving on.  What could be better than helping your loved one through this difficult and already stressful time than to contribute financially. Many people have trouble paying legal fees associated with divorce and custody. This is especially true with contested cases or people on a fixed budget. You can help! Hire an attorney to guide them and file for divorce. Often parents will call for their adult children to schedule a consultation with an attorney.  most attorneys readily invite loved ones to join in the meeting to make sure that it is a correct fit, to fill in blanks and to remember advice.  Often the person paying only wants what is best for their child and grandchildren. If they already have an attorney, contribute to their fees. A phone call from a relative with even a small payment reminds the attorney of their specific case and that there are others who care about the outcome.  In the majority of cases each party is responsible for their own legal fees.  You cannot hire an attorney without a retainer and cannot keep an attorney without paying for services. In northern Kentucky call or email Michael Bouldin. Call 581-MIKE and schedule an appointment for yourself or a loved one.  For immediate response, email Mike at Mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Can My Ex Move With the Children?

The local rules and current Kentucky law requires notice to the court and the other party of intent to relocate.  This is required regardless of whether the relocation will affect the parenting time.  If you are planning to move and you have children, you should first consult with your attorney regardless of if you are divorced, married, separated or were never married. Family law attorneys are regularly asked by clients and potential clients whether they can relocate with their children.  As a domestic attorney for over 20 years, this is one of the most often asked question that I receive.  Kentucky law has gone through many changes over the past 10 years with respect to relocation cases. In general, courts disfavor relocation of parents.  While the law certainly allows freedom to live where ever you like, it does not permit unfettered moving with the children, especially if it impacts the parenting time of the other parent. The rule of law is simple: What is in the best interest of the minor child(ren)? Whether the parties are married is often a significant factor.  Courts generally opine that if the parties chose to live together in a certain geographic area, it has already been determined to be in the best interest of the children.  It is somewhat comical what a parent believes that they should have the right to relocate with the children,  especially when the other parent does not agree. If the parties are divorced, the language of a Settlement Agreement or Decree will be most controlling.  Also, KRS 403.340 allows for modification of a custody decree only in certain circumstances.  Additionally, child custody cases must be filed in the state of the child's residence.  Residence is only established after the child has resided for more than 6 months in any specific state.   Based on the current status of the law, there may even be some circumstances where there is no "home state" for the child such that a custody case may be filed.  For example, if paternity has not been established and Father lives in Ohio and Mother and child lives in Kentucky, if mother moves to a different state, there may be no home state until 180 days have elapsed. For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com. [huge_it_maps id="1"]

Can I Keep The Kids if My Ex is on Drugs?

Having practiced divorce, custody and domestic relations for over 20 years, I am often asked: Can I keep the children from my ex if they are on drugs?  If they are high?  If they are drunk? Although you legally have an obligation to follow court orders, you also have an obligation to protect your children. Generally, if your ex, or spouse, is high or drunk, you can keep the children during that specific time if you deem it an emergency.  For example, you are not required to place your infant child in a vehicle with a drunk driver. If problems ensue, call the police authorities.  My general advice is that this is a defense to a contempt action and only works for a day or 2.  If you believe that the drug use by the other parent is ongoing or that alcoholism is a concern, you need to file an abuse/dependency/neglect action with Social Services OR file a motion in your divorce or custody case.  You will need to tell the Judge and have him/her rule on whether the other parent's time should be limited or monitored. You cannot keep the kids indefinitely without being at risk of contempt for willful refusal to follow court orders of parenting and visitation.  After that first day, it is imperative to contact your attorney and file a motion with the court. For consultation or if you need to retain an attorney, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 in Northern Kentucky.  Michael has been serving Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties for over 20 years.  Contact at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 581-MIKE.

Can I Get Custody After Release From Jail?

Many people incorrectly assume that their spouse will be unable to regain custody rights once they are released from jail/prison.  If the parent of your child does go to jail or prison and you would like their rights to be modified, you must request this from the court.  If you are incarcerated, you may need to file a motion upon your release. Often the most overlooked people in the family court system are grandparents or other custodians who take over guardianship of the children while their parents are in drug treatment or incarcerated.  During this period of incarceration, temporary guardianship may be granted by the parents or by the Court.  Often, juvenile court and CHFS/DSS opens a case to grant custody.  This allows the caretaker to enroll a child in school, get medical treatment and act as a parent BUT it does not grant permanent custody. If custody is established, it is temporary.  Permanent custody CAN be granted, but often the custodian must seek this designation through the court. Additionally, it is infinitely better to do this while they parents are incarcerated instead of waiting until release.  This area of the law is very time specific and fact specific in granting more permanent custody to a child caretaker. Remember that unless the person was convicted of abuse of that child, they can likely regain rights which may include custody.  Both the convict and the custodian/guardian should be aware of these rights after release from incarceration.   If you have temporary custody or guardianship and want to make it more permanent, contact your lawyer. If you are being released and want to reestablish parenting rights, contact your attorney.  If you do not have an attorney, contact Bouldin Law Firm to answer questions and for representation.  Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Can Convicts Get Custody?

Many people incorrectly assume that their spouse will be unable to regain custody rights once they are released from jail/prison.  If the parent of your child does go to jail or prison and you would like their rights to be modified, you must request this from the court. Often the most overlooked people in the family court system are grandparents or other custodians who take over guardianship of the children while their parents are in drug treatment or incarcerated.  During this period of incarceration, temporary guardianship may be granted by the parents or by the Court.  Often, juvenile court and CHFS/DSS opens a case to grant custody.  This allows the caretaker to enroll a child in school, get medical treatment and act as a parent BUT it does not grant permanent custody. If custody is established, it is temporary.  Permanent custody CAN be granted, but often the custodian must seek this designation through the court. Additionally, it is infinitely better to do this while they parents are incarcerated instead of waiting until release.  This area of the law is very time specific and fact specific in granting more permanent custody to a child caretaker. Remember that unless the person was convicted of abuse of that child, they can likely regain rights which may include custody.  Both the convict and the custodian/guardian should be aware of these rights after release from incarceration.   If you have temporary custody or guardianship and want to make it more permanent, contact your lawyer. If you do not have an attorney, contact Bouldin Law Firm to answer questions and for representation.  Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is the process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members.[1][2] It is a distinctive and widespread form of psychological abuse and family violence --towards both the child and the rejected family members--that occurs almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce, particularly where legal action is involved. Most commonly, the primary cause is a parent wishing to exclude another parent from the life of their child, but other family members or friends, as well as professionals involved with the family (including psychologists, lawyers and judges), may contribute significantly to the process.[1][4] It often leads to the long-term, or even permanent, estrangement of a child from one parent and other family members[5] and, as a particularly adverse childhood experience, results in significantly increased risks of both mental and physical illness for children. (notes from en.wikipedia.org) Proving the cause of parental alienation is often extremely difficult. There are times when the children align with  one particular parent because of actual or perceived unfairness by the other party.  Many times the parent who may claim that they are being alienated are actually the root cause due to their own actions.  Other times, it may be unintentional alienation where the party simply asks questions that cause concern. For example, often a child returns from a visit and the mother asks, "How did it go at your Father's?" This is a relatively innocuous question. A child may respond, "Dad didn't feed us." or "Dad left us with grandma all weekend."  If the Mother becomes agitated, sympathetic or overly concerned, it can lead a child to favor for Mother and/or believe that Father has misbehaved.  This is the beginning of alienation, even if unintentional by the Mother. I have worked with a number of psychological professionals who remind parents that this is the child's perspective and often very different from actuality.  Unfortunately, during or after a divorce the amount of distrust of the other spouse is so severe that parents may believe outrageous stories by children instead of the rational reality that the spouse could provide if questioned.  Additionally, many parents are unwilling to have those discussions because of tension between the parties. If you have questions, concerns or don't know where to turn, contact an experienced domestic law/family law attorney. For consultation, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.  Call 581-MIKE to schedule an appointment.

What is Nesting?

Nesting is a term used by domestic relations attorneys to describe a situation where the parents share time in the marital residence and the children stay in the marital residence.  It is not uncommon as a short term solution during the pendency of the dissolution or if there are financial or other concerns. A typical nesting arrangement is that Mother will stay in the marital residence on Mondays and Tuesdays and every other weekend and Father will stay int he marital residence on Wednesdays and Thursdays and alternate weekends.  The away parent is responsible for finding alternative arrangements for a place to stay and sleep. This may also be appropriate if one parent works from the marital house.  In that case, the other parent would vacate the home each day while the working parent is conducting business and the "home worker" would vacate the residence each evening. The term "nesting" is derived from the baby birds who remain in the nest while their parents come to and fro.  The father may come in and parent, bring the children food while the mother is away and the mother will bring the children food and provide care while the father is away.  The infant bird is often referred to as a nestling: a bird too young to leave the nest. There are a number of potential pitfalls to this situation.  Special care should be taken to arrange for payment of specific bills or division of those household costs.  Other discussion should be had regarding: food, cleanliness, contingencies for illness and it is best if a timeline is agreed upon in advance. If you have questions about nesting, or any other term that the lawyers use, ASK.  If you do not have an attorney and wish to schedule a consultation about divorce, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net.  Call 581-MIKE today.

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