Louisville Attorneys for Custody Modifications
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In Kentucky, there are 2 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 Kentucky, in most situations, there is a presumption of joint custody. An exception to this presumption of joint custody can occur when there has been domestic violence.
In sole custody situations, one parent makes all 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 into the future. However, as families move forward from a divorce or parental separation, the needs of parents or even children may change.
Can I Modify Child Custody Orders?
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 ability to modify a parenting schedule is always modifiable and is based on the minor child's best interest.
To modify custody in Kentucky, under KRS 403.340, parents may not pursue modifications for 2 years after the original arrangement was put in place, unless a child is in physical, emotional, or mental danger.
After the 2-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.
Modification Due to Relocation
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, 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.
In 2021, the current laws on relocation, as set forth in the Family Court Rules of Practice and Procedure, state:
- For a joint custodian seeking relocation –Before a joint custodian seeks to relocate, written notice shall be with the Court and served on the non-relocating joint custodian. The written notice shall include the proposed relocation address, date of relocation and the effect, if any, of relocation on court-ordered time-sharing. If Court ordered time sharing is affected by the proposed relocation joint custodians shall file an agreed order or a motion to modify the existing time-sharing order. Within 20 days of service of the notice, the non-relocating joint custodian may file a motion to modify custody or time sharing.
- For a sole custodian seeking relocation – Before a sole custodian seeks to relocate, written notice shall be filed with the court and served on the non-custodial parent. The written notice shall include the proposed relocation address, date of relocation and effect, if an, of relocation on court-ordered time-sharing. If the Court-ordered time-sharing is affected by the relocation, within 20 days of service of the notice, the non-custodial parent may file a motion contesting the change in time-sharing. For more information about custody modification and whether it is possible in your unique situation, contact one of the Attorneys at the Winner Law Group, LLC today to discuss your options.
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