The following is a summary of Kentucky child custody laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Kentucky Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Guidelines Used by the Court to Determine Child Custody.

The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child, and equal consideration shall be given to each parent. The court shall consider all relevant factors including:

  1. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody;
  2. The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
  3. 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;
  4. The child’s adjustment to his home, school, and community;
  5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
  6. Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720;
  7. The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian;
  8. The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian; and
  9. 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.

The court shall not consider conduct of a proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship to the child. If domestic violence and abuse is alleged, the court shall determine the extent to which the domestic violence and abuse has affected the child and the child’s relationship to both parents.

The abandonment of the family residence by a custodial party shall not be considered where said party was physically harmed or was seriously threatened with physical harm by his or her spouse, when such harm or threat of harm was causally related to the abandonment.

-From Section 403.270 of the Kentucky Statutes.

Visitation with Minor Child.

A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. Upon request of either party, the court shall issue orders which are specific as to the frequency, timing, duration, conditions, and method of scheduling visitation and which reflect the development age of the child.

If domestic violence and abuse, as defined in KRS 403.720, has been alleged, the court shall, after a hearing, determine the visitation arrangement, if any, which would not endanger seriously the child’s or the custodial parent’s physical, mental, or emotional health.

-From Section 403.320 of the Kentucky Statutes.

Custodian of the Minor Child.

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.

-From Section 403.330 of the Kentucky Statutes.

 

This information has been summarized from the Kentucky statutes. You can find the full-text version of these and other Kentucky divorce statutes online here: Kentucky Divorce Laws.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GENERAL CHILD CUSTODY LAWS.

GO TO ANOTHER DIVORCE ARTICLE.

 

IMPORTANT: Help Yourself Divorce is a paralegal service, not a law firm. Please don’t rely on this information for legal advice. Seek help from an attorney if you need legal advice.

 

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