How do courts in Kentucky define the best interests of the child?

Child custody decisions are not always easy to make. In some cases, parents can easily come to an agreement. But in other cases, child custody decisions can be heated and volatile, especially when each parent's emotions run high. In either case, however, the court will look to one basic standard: what is in the best interests of the child.

There are numerous factors that courts in Kentucky will take into consideration when determining what is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the wishes of each parent equally, as well as those of a de facto custodian, if there is one. The child's wishes also will be considered.

In addition, the physical and mental health of the parents and the child will be considered. This includes the situation with regard to the child's current adjustment to his or her school, home and community, as well as any relationships the child has with his or her immediate family members. Immediate family members include parents, siblings and others who could have a significant impact on the best interests of the child. The court also will consider whether there has been instances of domestic violence in the child's life.

These are only some of the factors that will be taken into account when courts decide child custody and visitation issues. In the end, a child needs to be raised in an environment that will allow him or her to grow and thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. By keeping the child's best interests at heart, decisions can be made that will benefit the child and all the parties involved in the child's life.