Kentucky law changed in June, 2018 which now allows for a presumption of joint custody and equal parenting time for both parents. Litigants should be aware this does not GUARANTEE that you will get either joint custody or equal parenting time, but it is the starting point for a judge to consider when determining the best interest of the children.
Interestingly, many family law practitioners (me included) do not believe that this legal change has caused any substantial change in how a judge would evaluate a case. For many years, judges have given equal weight to each parent when determining custody. The difference is that now there is a presumption, which is rebuttable by a preponderance of evidence.
What that phrase means is that if there is no evidence presented, the judge would be required to grant joint legal custody and equal parenting time. A party wishing to overcome this presumption would have to show substantial proof that joint custody is not in the child(ren)’s best interest. Often, evidence of abuse or neglect will be presented to show that one particular parent should not be granted joint legal or shared parenting.
This area is fraught with legal, evidentiary and practical issues. If you have a custody case, whether joint or you are seeking sole custody, you should consult an experienced family law attorney. Knowledge of the local judge is essential when presenting the case.
To schedule an appointment, call or email [email protected]. For more information or consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton county, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email [email protected].