Kentucky‚Äôs New Equal Parenting Law- What You Need To Know

The Laws They Are A’ Changin

Four days ago, the Kentucky Legislature passed HB 528 and sent it to Governor Bevin to sign. If Governor Bevin signs this, which is very likely, drastic changes are coming to our Kentucky Child Custody laws.

This change would make a Family Court presume, when deciding custody, that it is in a child’s best interest to spend equal time with both parents, unless that is absolutely not a possibility. It allows parents who do not have equal parenting time to petition the court for equal parenting time.

Currently, KRS 403.270 , only one of four laws to be amended, speaks in terms of the best interest of a child and clearly supports the idea that one party will win custody and one party will not.

According to HB 528, here’s what will also be amended:

KRS 403.280 to specify that the presumption of joint custody and equal parenting time is in the best interest of the child;

amend KRS 403.320 to allow a parent not granted custody or shared parenting time to petition for reasonable visitation rights;

amend KRS 403.340 to specify that if a court modifies a custody decree there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interest of the child for the parents to have joint custody and equally shared parenting time.

Yup, things are about to change. And I believe I have enough experience to say it’s for the better.

So what does that mean for most of you?

First of all, for a comprehensive article explaining current KY Custody laws, check out this guide from Wolfe & Houlehan in Lexington. They took the time to explain all of the buzzwords and concepts that underlie current KY custody law. Thanks for doing the hard work, guys!

Dads, if you have a child that you only see every other weekend and that you pay child support for, consider petitioning the Court for equal parenting time. Your child support will be adjusted down (although that’s not the reason why you should want more time with your kids).

Moms, if you are used to being the “primary residential custodian” you will likely remain so, with the chance that fathers who are able may petition for more visitation time with their kids.

For parents who are just now being taken to Family Court for a custody determination, or are considering taking the other parent to Family Court to consider custody, know that if both of you are fit (not on drugs or other problems) and both live in the same general location, you’re going to be sharing custody.

Time to get along!

I’ll be sharing lots of stories, articles, thoughts and tips on how to survive and love equal parenting.

I will also be watching for updates on HB 528 and posting them here– subscribe if you want to know too!