In Kentucky, there are two forms of custody: Joint custody or sole custody. In joint custody situations, both parents make major decisions about a minor child's education, health care and religion. When parents have joint custody, they have equal decision making rights, although one parent may have physical custody of the child significantly more than the other parent.
In sole custody situations, one parent makes all of the decisions regarding a minor child's education, health care and religion. While not always ideal, child custody agreements are designed to give parents concrete guidelines for sharing child responsibilities far into the future. However, as families move forward from a divorce or parental separation, the needs of parents or even children may change.
In Kentucky, "custody" refers to decision-making abilities as opposed to time spent with a child. The standards to modify custody change depending upon the amount of time that has elapsed since the last Court order on custody. In contrast to custody, the standard to modify the parenting schedule is always modifiable and is based exclusively on the minor child's best interest.
In order to modify custody in Kentucky, under KRS 403.340, parents may not pursue modifications for two years after the original arrangement was put in place.
After the two-year waiting period following the entry of a custody decree, the standard necessary to modify custody decreases to "the best interest of the child standard." This is the same standard used for modifying the parenting schedule. Our Louisville family law attorney can answer your questions about modifying custody orders at any time.
In recent years, the laws regarding child relocation have undergone significant revisions, and the law continues to change on an almost annual basis. In most situations, in order to relocate with a minor child, a parent must give proper notice and receive Court permission. Relocation cases are difficult, unique and fact-driven. Each relocation case is decided on its own merits, and there is no one-size-fits-all resolution.
For more information, or to arrange a consultation with Louis P. Winner, contact our office at (502) 812-1889 today!