Kentucky’s new #childcustody law

Parent-Children photoDid you know Kentucky recently passed, and Governor Bevin signed, a bill that updated one of our laws on child custody? If not, you’re not alone. This was, somehow, done pretty quietly, which is rather odd, because the change is a VERY good thing for children. I’m sure once you see the change, you as a parent will agree.

House Bill 492 essentially proposed that KRS 403.280, the law regarding temporary orders (which is what usually happens first when someone files a new divorce, with kids, case or a #childcustody case) on #childcustody and timesharing/parenting time/visitation, be modified. Previously, there was no presumption regarding a preference by the courts as to joint/sole #custody or what kind of timesharing/visitation schedule parents should share regarding their children.  HB 492 changed all this, by proposing that at the beginning of a new #divorce or #childcustody case, the court should start with the premise that parents should share joint custody and an equal timesharing schedule with their children.  Of course, if there are concerns about a parent (ex: one uses drugs, is neglectful/abusive), the trial court can still hear those issues if properly brought forth in motions, but in order to deviate from the presumption of joint custody and equal timesharing, the court must make specific findings as to why the ordered schedule is in the children’s best interest.

On April 12, 2017, HB 492 was passed by the Kentucky legislature and Governor Bevin signed it into law.  So, now, when a new #childcustody case or divorce involving children is filed, parents do not have to fight so hard to have equal access and rights to their children. Every case starts with the presumption that it is in the children’s best interest for the parents to share temporary joint custody and equal time and it will be up to the parent who does not believe it is best for their children to have this standard to prove to the judge why it is not.

We here at Prebeck Law Office applaud this change to the law and think overall Kentucky’s children will greatly benefit. Now we hope that this mandatory presumption isn’t only required in new cases, but for any case previously filed or when “final/permanent” orders are to be entered.