Child custody is a primary concern for many divorcing parents. Child custody can be an understandably emotional concern for divorcing couples which is why it is helpful to understand how it is determined and in what ways it may be determined. Child custody concerns include physical and legal custody of the children and a determination of which parent will have each type of custody or if they will share it.

In some situations, the divorcing parents may be able to agree to a child custody arrangement between themselves, while in others they may need the family law court to help them reach a child custody arrangement. Both physical and legal custody can be sole or shared. If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will likely have visitation. If the parents share legal custody, they will make important decisions for the child together, such as medical care, schooling and religion, but if only one parent has legal custody, the will have to make those decisions for the child themselves.

Child custody decisions, including in Kentucky, are based on what is in the best interest of the child. Factors the court may consider to determine what is in the best interests of the child include the parenting abilities of the parents; the child's relationship to each parent; the child's location in relation to their school; the child's wishes; and if there is any history of domestic abuse.

The family law system provides important resources to help parents negotiate a child custody agreement and to help them navigate the family law process when they are divorcing. Negotiating child custody can be a challenge but it does not have to be unpleasant with the resources available to help families and ensure the best interests of the child is achieved.

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