Child custody can be one of the most stressful issues during and after divorce. Ideally, the court encourages an arrangement where divorcing parents work out a co-parenting plan on their own. However, this plan must be guided by the doctrine of the best interests of the child and it must be approved by the court.
It takes compromise and goodwill to negotiate a custody settlement out of court. If you get it right, an out-of-court custody settlement can offer the following benefits:
- Time and cost-saving benefits
- Control over the process and eventual outcome
- Reduced stress and family strife
Kentucky child custody guidelines
Child custody in Kentucky focuses on the best interests of the child affected by any particular agreement. Basically, the court presumes that parents will share parenting time on a relatively equal basis. However, each child custody matter is unique. Thus, here are some of the factors the court will consider before approving your out-of-court custody settlement (or arriving at its own conclusions if your attempt to settle out of court becomes contentious):
- The child’s age
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- Each parent’s mental and physical conditions
- The location of the child’s school as well as their connection to the community
- The child’s wishes
- Any special needs that the child might have
Acting in your child’s best interests
Yes, you may settle your child custody matter out of court. However, it is important to understand that the court will still need to review and approve that settlement. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about the Kentucky custody statute can help you safeguard your child’s best interests and negotiate a custody settlement that works for everyone.