When married parents divorce or unmarried parents separate, they will have to figure out what to do with the custody of their children. Custody matters are often one of the most emotional aspects of a divorce or separation, and parents often worry that they will lose the bond that they have with their children because of the interference of the other parent in their relationship.
Some people may have heard from others that the Kentucky family courts seemingly give one parent preferential treatment over the other or that they will give one parent sole custody while relegating the other to nothing more than weekend visitation. Is it true that the family courts prefer to enact sole custody arrangements?
Judges want what is best for the children
Custody laws in Kentucky are very clear about what judges should consider when making custody determinations. The most important factor will always be the best interests of the children. With some noteworthy exceptions, families going through a major transition will typically secure the best outcome for the children by keeping both parents as actively involved as possible. Even someone who spent little solo time with the children before can become a better parent in the future.
Therefore, even in a situation where one parent asks for sole custody, judges will often still put together a shared custody order where both parents have time with the children and some degree of decision-making authority. Occasionally, when one parent has evidence of unusual family circumstances, a judge may agree that sole custody is the best option in that scenario.
The situations that may lead to one parent receiving sole custody include:
- mutual agreement between
- a parent’s incarceration
- severe medical issues
- mental health challenges
- addiction or substance abuse, including alcoholism
- a history of domestic violence in front of or targeting the children
Additionally, if one parent is in a very unstable situation or if they live with someone else who may pose a threat to the children, those factors may also compel a judge to limit one parent’s time with the children.
Still, even when the courts grant one parent sole custody, the parent with less time typically always has the option of going back to court to ask for a modification when their circumstances change. Learning the truth about how judges handle custody disputes can help those frightened by urban legends feel more confident about their upcoming divorce.