Individuals who have had to deal with the family law courts of the state know that matters related to the custody of children can be difficult and emotional proceedings. In Kentucky courts hear countless custody matters that result from parental separations, break-ups and divorces. In some cases sole custody may be the result of a hearing while in others joint custody may prevail.
Recently, though, Governor Matt Bevin signed into law a new requirement for family court judges. Under the law, judges must grant parents joint custody in all cases unless one parent has a domestic violence allegation against them in the near past. The allegation must result in the creation of a protective order and must have occurred within the three years prior to the custody case. The law creates a legal presumption for joint custody and Kentucky is the first state in the country to take this step.
Parents still have the option of working out their child custody matters out of court and submitting agreements for approval to the judges who hear their divorce and family law cases. The joint custody presumption will therefore apply in situations where the judges themselves are required to rule on how best to serve the child’s custodial needs.
While some legal advocates praise the new law as providing balance in an area of family law where one parent usually gained sole custody, others claim that it takes away important judicial discretion in family law matters. As readers contemplate this new law and discover questions to which they have no answers, they may wish to contact their local family law attorneys to learn more about how this and other laws may influence the outcomes of their divorces.
Source: weku.fm, “New Law Requires Judges To Default To Joint Custody In Divorce“, Ryland Barton, Apr. 29, 2018