In 2018, the state of Kentucky created a bill that allowed for parents to retain joint custody by default. While a legal measure such as this is great for parents to maintain relationships with their children, some parents may not be thrilled by the continuation of shared custody.
Sometimes, a parent will go to the court seeking sole custody of their child. This may be because joint custody is not in the best interest of the child.
Physical Custody vs. Legal Custody
Parents can obtain two types of custody: sole custody and legal custody.
Legal custody is the right to make decisions regarding the child’s life, medical care, education, religious factors, and moral development. If a parent has sole legal custody, they don’t need to consult with the other over the previously mentioned matters.
Physical custody is when a parent has their child living in their home and provides day to daycare. Typically, decisions regarding a child’s everyday life are agreed upon by both parents. However, if one parent has sole physical custody, that parent makes those decisions alone.
Factors Surrounding Sole Custody
If one parent believes joint custody would not be in the best interest of their child, they must provide evidence to the court. To obtain sole custody, the parent must be able to prove at least one of the following:
- The other parent has a history of domestic violence or sexual abuse and has been abusive to the parent seeking sole custody and/or the child.
- The other parent has neglected the child in the past. For example, if the other parent failed to provide proper medical care, supervision, food, clothing, or shelter.
- The other parent has a history of alcohol or substance abuse. The altered mental state that goes along with substance abuse impairs the parent to a point of not being able to care for their child properly.
- The other parent has a history of severe mental illness. If an illness of this type impairs the parent from thinking and behaving rationally, it could have detrimental effects on the child’s development.
- The other parent has failed to maintain contact with the child or disappears for long stretches of time.
- The parent seeking sole custody has plans to relocate more than 50 miles away from their current residence.
If the parent seeking sole custody is doing so as the result of the other parent’s negligence, they should be aware that the court may still grant that parent supervised visitation. Something like this would ensure the child is safe while still allowing them to continue a relationship with the other parent.
Helping You Pursue Your Child’s Best Interest
Attorney Louis P. Winner is experienced in handling all legal issues concerning sole custody. Whether you would like sole custody of your child or you are fighting to retain joint custody, our attorney can help. He will do everything in his power to pursue the best option for your family.
Call our attorney today at (502) 812-1889 or contact us online for a case evaluation.