John H. Schmidt, Kentucky's premier divorce and family law lawyer
Who decides whether the child plays certain sports or signs up for certain activities?
It depends on the custody. Custody means decision making. If one of the parents has sole custody, that parent has sole decision-making authority.
Of course, it is possible for one parent to have sole custody for a limited purpose like education. Generally speaking, parents share custody which is called joint custody. That means that they make decisions together and in cooperation with one another based on what’s best for the child or children.
Unfortunately, parents sometimes disagree or place their own needs above what’s best for the child or children. Sometimes parents say “not on my time” and that is a clear signal that they’re not thinking about what’s best for the child or children but rather their own selfish needs. In those cases, it’s best that you asked the court to make the decision.
How does the Court make a custody determination? The law says a court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child with equal consideration given to each parent and to any de facto custodian. For information on de facto custodian, visit De Facto Custodian
What does the Court consider when deciding what's in the best interest of the child? Kentucky law specifies the the court shall consider all relevant factors including:
(a) The wishes of the child's parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody;
(b) The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
(c) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
(d) The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community;
(e) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(f) Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720;
(g) The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian;
(h) The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian; and
(i) The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720 and whether the child was placed with a de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek employment, work, or attend school.
At the heart of the matter is the child or children, and judges welcome an expert's opinion in addition to what's in the record whenever possible because they want to do no harm to the child or children; however, not everyone can afford to provide the court with an expert opinion. In those cases, the court makes the best decision it can based on the information provided in the record and after a hearing. Watch the video below for some insight.
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If you’re facing divorce, custody, grandparent's rights, paternity, adoption, criminal charges, personal injury, or need deeds or wills prepared in or around Shepherdsville or Shelbyville or Taylorsville or Radcliff or Elizabethtown or Louisville, Kentucky, rely on our team at the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates. We will fight aggressively to help you protect your rights with the goal of obtaining the most favorable outcome. Schedule an appointment here: https://www.johnschmidtlaw.com/schedule-appointment/