Working out a custody arrangement that reflects your children’s needs may be the most challenging part of your divorce. For one, you and your spouse may have different ideas about how to raise them. Furthermore, you must account for all the variables that go into scheduling parenting time and allocating decision-making responsibilities. And you must also consider that Kentucky’s laws presume that shared parenting will benefit your children, unless exceptional circumstances are at play.
How Kentucky’s shared parenting laws work
In 2018, Kentucky became the first state to enact laws that presume a shared parenting arrangement in divorce cases. These laws will likely have a profound impact on your divorce, since they begin with the presumption that your children will benefit from you and your spouse receiving joint legal custody and equal parenting time. This presumption, however, is rebuttable, and the court can deviate from it if circumstances warrant it. Even if this happens, the court will likely try to maximize both you and your spouse’s time with your children.
How shared parenting laws could impact your divorce
If you and your spouse are both fit and attentive parents, Kentucky’s shared parenting laws could work to your children’s advantage. Yet, there may be reasons that shared parenting would not work out for your family. In weighing whether it is an appropriate arrangement, the court will consider:
- Whether you and your spouse can communicate and cooperate with each other
- Whether you and your spouse will both foster your children’s relationship with the other parent
- Whether you or your spouse have a history of abuse or domestic violence
- Whether you, your spouse or your children have physical or mental health issues
- Your children’s relationship with and proximity to their home, school and community
- Your children’s relationship with you, your spouse and their siblings
- Your children’s wishes
Shared parenting makes sense for many Kentucky families. Whether it is feasible for yours, though, depends on your unique circumstances. A legal professional can help you work out a custody arrangement that is appropriate for your family’s needs.