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Joint custody offers many benefits to the child

If you’re divorcing or separating from the mother of your children, you’re probably concerned with how often you’ll see your children now. You may have heard that courts always favor the mother in custody disputes and this makes you uneasy. While the thought of not seeing your child as often as you’d like understandably makes you uneasy, Kentucky handles child custody differently.

Kentucky lawmakers passed a law in 2017 that made joint custody the default decision in custody decisions. Lawmakers felt that it was in the best interest of children to have both parents involved in their lives.

How Kentucky determines custody

The best interest of the child is a standard for determining custody not only in Kentucky, but nationwide too. A court will weight factors such as your child’s relationship with both parents and their wishes for custody. Other factors such as the presence of violence in the home and mental and physical health also weigh into the judge’s decision.

If a court deems one parent unfit for having parenting time with the child, they may lose their claim to joint custody.

Research shows joint custody can benefit kids

While single parents can be successful, research has shown the presence of both parents in a child life as most beneficial to your child’s well-being. Research shows that the presence of both parents in your child’s life can make a difference in their development. Some scientific benefits include:

  • Improved mental health. One study revealed a lower likelihood of depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns in children whose parents had joint custody. Similarly, children with both parents in their lives performed better in social settings and are less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol.
  • A greater quality of relationships with both parents. Research shows that splitting time between two parents did not worsen relationships with either parent compared to children who did not split time.

These are just some of the reasons that Kentucky made joint custody the default decision in custody cases. There are instances in which a parent would not receive joint custody, but this law should lessen your fears over not being able to see your child.

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