Like other states, judges deciding child custody in Northern Kentucky use the best interests of the child standard to evaluate each case. Before moving forward in your divorce or child custody case, it’s important to know what statutes are in place for the entire state.
Some of the factors that a judge will consider in a child custody case include:
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home and community
- The wishes of the parents with regard to the children’s placement
- The child’s current relationship with both parents and any siblings
- The physical and mental health of all family members
- The wishes of the child.
A judge is responsible for evaluating each of these factors to establish a comprehensive custody plan. Judges may also issue Northern Kentucky custody orders for the period during which the divorce is being finalized.
A Boone County court can award custody in several different ways. There are two primary types of custody: legal and physical.
- Physical custody is awarded to the parent with physical care and control responsibility for the child or children.
- Legal custody, on the other hand, relates to a parent’s ability to make decisions regarding that child. This allows a parent to play a role in making decisions regarding the children’s culture, religion, health, and education.
Custody is also awarded temporarily and on a more permanent basis. Temporary custody will usually be awarded at the outset of the divorce proceedings to provide a plan for the duration of the case. After the temporary custody award goes into effect, it is done with the expectation that a hearing will take place later, during which a judge has the right to review evidence and witness testimony to determine if a change to the custody order is warranted. Custody orders may reflect sole or joint custody.
When parents have joint legal custody over a child or children, they together must make the decisions regarding the child. The parents will essentially play an equal role in decision-making, even when the child spends more time at one parent’s residence over the other. In a sole legal custody situation, one parent retains the rights to make decisions about the child or children. Physical custody refers to the parent with which the children spend more physical time at a residential address.
Visitation may be awarded to a parent who does not receive sole custody of their child. The judge will determine what amount of visitation is appropriate and reasonable, setting up a schedule for the children. If the parties are able to agree to their own arrangement beforehand, what’s known as their “parenting plan” will be reviewed and approved by the judge. Visitation cannot be removed from a parent’s schedule without a court hearing. Visitation is generally removed only in cases where there is a serious threat of some kind of harm to the child’s well-being.
Knowing what to expect in Boone County family court can go a long way towards preparing you for a child custody case. During our FREE consultation we can go over the specifics that might happen in a case like yours in more detail so that you can know what to expect. Contact Us today.