Divorce, even in the best of circumstances, is a big deal. And if you have a child together, one of the most sensitive subjects you and your co-parent will have to grapple with is child custody and visitation.
Kentucky, like all the other states, uses the “best interests of the child” standard when handling child custody issues. This means that any decision must take this into account. Here are two factors the court will take into account while issuing a child custody order:
Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs
Custody decisions basically revolve around a child’s health (physical, mental and emotional), safety and overall wellbeing. The court will assess each parent’s ability to handle the child’s nutritional, healthcare, educational and mental health needs. To this effect, the court may ask the following questions:
- Does either parent have a problem with substance abuse?
- Does either parent have a criminal record?
- Does either parent have a history of neglect?
- Which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver up to now?
- Does each parent have a stable residence?
It’s important to remember that these aren’t the only considerations. The court is free to consider whatever they think is relevant.
Each parent’s willingness to cooperate in the upbringing of their child
Family courts look at the parents’ attitudes towards each other with a lot of interest. If you are interfering with the other parent’s ability to establish a healthy relationship with the child, then this can cause problems. Likewise, badmouthing the other parent in the presence of your child can also hurt your custody case as this can amount to parental alienation.
Child custody can be a thorny issue during and after the divorce. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while litigating a child custody case.