Child custody, visitation and support issues are some of the most challenging in family law. You love your children. You want to preserve your relationship, spend as much time as possible with your children and make sure they grow up safe and healthy. You likely have very strong opinions on how you want to raise your children. Your spouse may have equally strong opinions, but they may not be the same as yours.
At Walton Law PLLC, I help parents navigate this complicated and emotional situation. My role as your family law attorney is to protect your rights, help you define your goals and develop a realistic strategy to accomplish them. Call my law office in Bowling Green at 270-282-4538 if you have any questions about your custody and support rights.
It is easy to become focused on the present, but I always ask the question, "Where is this going to leave you five years down the road?"
Custody Decisions Are Made Under The Best Interests Of The Child Standard
In Kentucky, family court judges make all decisions involving children using the best interests of the child standard, including post-decree modifications. The presumption is that a relationship with both parents is best and that both parents are fit and proper custodians of their children. There is also a presumption that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of their child. Judges will award equal shared parenting time absent sufficient evidence that equally shared parenting time is not in the best interest of the child. Judges will award joint custody absent strong evidence that one parent is incapable, almost unfit, which is a difficult burden of proof.
Judges will consider many factors when determining custody and shared parenting time schedules. It is important to remember that a single factor is not determinative and each parent will receive equal consideration. Factors that a judge will consider include:
- The wishes of the parents and the child, although a child has no right to choose
- The relationship and interactions between the child and each parent, siblings and other important people in the child's life
- The child's adjustment to home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of the child, parents, and others involved
- The motivation of the participating adults
- Evidence of domestic violence
- The likelihood a party will allow frequent and meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
I Make Sure Child Support Orders Are Based On Accurate Numbers
Child support guidelines are very structured. You enter numbers into a strict mathematical equation that gives you a specific number. Free calculators are available online. The problem is that the instructions are not always clear. How do I calculate gross income? Is work-related daycare considered a child care cost? Do I enter the full amount of my health insurance premium? Any mistake could result in you paying more or receiving less than you are entitled to under the law.
Unclear About Your Rights And Obligations? Talk To An Experienced Lawyer.
When you face a decision concerning child custody, visitation or support, it is always best to talk to a lawyer before taking any action. You do not want to do something that could affect your rights. I encourage you to call me and discuss your situation without any pressure.
You can reach me at 270-282-4538 or send me an email directly.