After a divorce or separation, circumstances may merit a return to court to change child custody. Child abuse, a drastic change in finances or a long-distance move are examples of sufficient reasons for a modification in child custody. In Kentucky, child custody is determined by the best interests of the child. Family court always attempts to place the child and structure visitation so that the child can maintain parental relationships while receiving appropriate care. The primary custodian is usually the parent that has been providing the majority of care. If you decide that a change of custody is necessary, you can petition the courts to readdress the issue.
Determine that your case meets Kentucky’s criteria for a change in custody. The original custody order must be at least two years old, but the order can be modified earlier if the child is in imminent physical, mental, moral or emotional danger. The order can also be changed at any time if the current custodian agrees or has already placed the child in someone’s custody.
File a petition to modify child custody in same county circuit court in Kentucky where the original order was decreed. Obtain court forms from the local county courthouse. Submit an affidavit explaining the change in circumstances that requires a modification of custody.
Attend your court hearing. If the other parent does not agree to the modification, Kentucky guidelines require you to present evidence of a substantial change in circumstance to the judge. Substantial changes include abuse, a change in living arrangements or a major financial change. The judge may request an investigation by a friend of the court or custody evaluator. The judge will decide if the change in circumstances warrants a modification of custody.
If possible, contact a Kentucky family law attorney to discuss your particular case.
- Kentucky Legislature: 403.340 Modification of Custody Decree - Modification Based on Active Duty Deployment to Revert Back on Parent or Custodian's Return
- Kentucky Legislature: 403.350 Affidavit Required with Motion for Temporary Custody Order or for Modification of Custody Decree
- Women’s Law: Know the Laws: Kentucky: General Custody Information
- Kentucky Legislature: 403.300 Investigation: Court May Order in Custody Proceedings -- Attorney to Receive Copy
- Kentucky Legislature: 403.270 Custodial issues - Best Interests of Child Shall Determine - Joint Custody Permitted - De Facto Custodian
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