Family Court & Major Changes Coming To Custody & Timesharing in Kentucky

Effective July 1, 2018, Kentucky’s laws on custody and timesharing will change dramatically. From now on, at the start of any custody or divorce case, there will be a presumption that the parents should be awarded joint legal custody and equal timesharing in all cases. (Please see other articles on this website for explanations of the different terminology used in this article). What this means, in plain English, is that the judge will start any custody hearings by planning to award each party equal decision-making authority and equal time with their kids.

However, that does not mean that a parent is prohibited from arguing against this presumption. A parent can “‘rebut” (challenge) this presumption and try to convince the judge that he or she should make a different decision. This would be particularly true when there are major concerns about drug or alcohol use or serious mental illness by one of the parents, for example. However, the two parties simply not getting along with each other is probably insufficient, because that would apply to a great majority of parents splitting up.

It is very important to note that this new law also affects parents who already have a custody/timesharing arrangement in place as of July 1. The presumptions described above also apply to these existing cases. This means that parents who have an Order or Agreement in place might want to revisit that Order or Agreement now that the new presumption is going into effect if they do not already have joint custody or equal timesharing. Additionally, a parent who does not want those kinds of changes made to their existing Agreement or Order should be aware that the other parent might seek to change custody and/or timesharing based on the updated laws.

There are many other small details associated with this new law, and they can be difficult to understand. Any parent having concerns should discuss their case with a family law attorney. For more information about the updates or to schedule a consultation, contact Clark Law Office today. We are located in Lexington, KY and proudly serve central and eastern Kentucky.