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What should divorcing parents know about child custody?

The decision to end your marriage is the first difficult choice in a series of decisions you will have to make as this process moves forward. It can be stressful to make important legal and financial choices that have the impact to affect your family for years to come, especially those involving your children. This is one reason why it may be helpful for you to have a clear understanding of the factors that can impact child custody and visitation orders.

As a parent, you want what is best for your kids above all else. You want to prioritize their needs, which means you may pursue terms that allow them to have meaningful relationships with both parents after divorce. While you and the other parent may be able to create a custody and visitation plan outside of court, you may also benefit from understanding the factors that a court considers when making custody decisions should an out-of-court resolution be impossible.

The best interests standard

The ultimate goal in any child custody decision is protecting the best interests of the children above all else. The court will look at specific factors that could help them identify solutions that are most likely to provide stability and security for years to come, including any of the following:

  • Evidence or allegations of abuse or neglect
  • Ages of the children and their preferences
  • Whether the kids can remain at their schools and keep their normal schedules
  • Physical and mental states of both parents
  • The living accommodations at each home
  • Nature of the relationship the child has with each parent

These are only a few of the specific issues that could affect your custody and visitation order. Each situation is different, and parents have the right to bring to the court’s attention to certain issues that affect a child’s quality of life and his or her needs, including medical concerns, unique work schedules of the parents and more.

Your parental rights

It can be difficult to fight for your parental rights while also focusing on what is truly best for your kids. With preparation and guidance, it is possible to reach terms that allow you to accomplish both of those things. Before you make any decisions that could affect the future of your kids, you may want to learn more about custody laws, how Kentucky courts decide child custody and other factors that could affect your kids.