Earlier this year, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 528. Under this new law, its is now presumed that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child. Previously, the judge determined custody and parenting time in accordance with the best interest of the child giving consideration to certain factors in the statute. In many cases, this resulted in one parent being named the primary residential custodian and the other parent receiving visitation in accordance with a standard schedule. Now, the judge must start each case with the presumption that the ruling will be joint custody and equally shared parenting time.
Not every case will result in equal parenting time. However, a parent not granted equal parenting time may receive more than the previous "standard visitation."
This presumption is rebuttable meaning that the court will hear evidence of why joint custody and equally shared parenting time is not in the best interest of the child. For example, if there is a significant distance between the parents, it would be impossible for each parent to have equal parenting time. If the child is very young, it may be difficult for the parents to have equal parenting time. Other factors will also be considered. However, the new law provides if a court finds that equal parenting time is not in the best interest of the child, the court shall construct a parenting time schedule which maximizes the time each parent has with the child.
How does the new law affect my case?
If you currently receive visitation with your child that is less than equal time, you may consider contacting an attorney to discuss filing a motion to modify custody and/or visitation. Each case and set of facts is different. I believe this is especially the case under House Bill 528. A family law attorney will evaluate your specific facts and may recommend filing the appropriate motion. Should you have any questions, feel free to call Cobie D. Evans, Attorney at Law, PSC. All consultations are free. 270-928-4620