Making decisions about child custody during a divorce is often the most difficult aspect of the entire process. Even if things are amicable between you and your ex, you may still be at odds when it comes to who gets custody.
In this case, it helps to understand the standards Kentucky uses when making custody decisions. While all decisions are made in the best interest of the children at the heart of the custody dispute, this can involve many different factors.
The physical and mental health of the parents
Rearing a child to be a healthy and happy individual is definitely hard work. That is why it is crucial parents are mentally and physically healthy, so they can do the best possible job.
If one parent suffers from a medical condition that impacts their mobility to the point where their ability to parent is in question, primary custody may be awarded to the other parent. In this case, visitation would be awarded to ensure the child has a strong bond with both parents. Severe mental illness can also influence custody decisions, especially if the person is not currently in treatment.
Where the child’s school is located
Divorce is often traumatic for children. Accordingly, every effort is made to protect kids from further upheavals, such as by moving schools. If one parent is located a great distance from the child’s current school, the court may choose to award primary residential custody to the parent who lives closest to the school.
While joint custody is preferred in most cases, it may not be feasible for a child to travel great distances during the school year. However, the family can work out a suitable visitation schedule, such as having the child spend summer vacation with the non-custodial parent.
The relationship the child has with the rest of the family
Quality family life is necessary for a child to feel happy and fulfilled. This goes beyond the parents to siblings in the household, which can also have a significant impact on the health and wellness of the child. Family bonds will be assessed by the court so custody decisions are made that are most beneficial. If the child has strong bonds in the current living arrangement, the court may choose to preserve them.