Covington Child Custody Attorneys
Going Through A Custody Battle? Contact Our Covington Child Custody Attorneys
According to the U.S. Census, almost 90 percent of child custody cases are eventually settled outside of a courtroom, whether between the parents themselves or by the parents’ lawyers. In about 51 percent of those cases, both parents agree for the mother to be the custodial parents. This is considerably different from the overall rate of custodial parents in the U.S. that are mothers (79.9 percent). The goal of forty percent of states in the U.S. is to provide equal time to each parent through a child custody arrangement. There are only 2.5 million single fathers in the United States with full custody—a number that has been rising steadily since the 1960s when there were only about 300,000 single fathers with custody. Having Covington child custody attorneys from Adams Law by your side can help ensure the final custody decision is fair to all those involved.
Child custody can be a contentious issue during a divorce; if a couple is already having difficulties dividing assets, imagine dividing their children’s time. While most parents genuinely want to be able to see their children on a regular basis, in some instances a parent may push for custody simply to spite the other parent. Judges will always attempt to decide child custody based on the best interests of the child. A Covington child custody attorney from Adams Law can help you with your child custody issue. Our Covington child custody attorneys are highly skilled negotiators; however, if an agreement cannot be reached, we also understand the factors that could sway a judge’s decision. Whether you live in Northern Kentucky or Southern Ohio, we can assist you from our Covington office.
What are the Types of Child Custody in Kentucky and Ohio?
In the state of Kentucky, custody can first be physical or legal. Physical custody concerns where the child actually lives on a regular basis. Legal custody refers to the rights of each parent to have a legal say in the big decisions for their child—generally health decisions, religious decisions, and educational decisions. Aside from physical and legal custody, child custody can be temporary or permanent. During paternity or divorce proceedings, a judge will award temporary custody to one parent, generally with visitation for the other, barring any extraordinary circumstances. A permanent custody arrangement will then be negotiated.
Finally, child custody in the state of Kentucky could be sole custody or joint custody. So, parents might have joint legal custody, meaning they can both make big decisions for their child, along with joint physical custody where the child splits their time between the parents’ homes. The parent with primary custody is usually called the primary residential parent, but this only means that the child spends more time with this parent than the other.
Sole physical and legal custody means only one parent has the right to make the big decisions without consulting the other, and one parent has physical custody of the child while the other has regular visitation time. There are only a very few circumstances that would cause a judge to deny a parent visitation, and generally, those involve anything that would seriously endanger the child’s physical, emotional, moral, or mental health.
Ohio child custody laws are very similar to those in Kentucky although unmarried mothers are automatically given sole physical and legal custody of the child barring clear evidence to the contrary. Joint physical custody allows both parents to act as primary caretakers of the child, with the child splitting his or her time between the two households. This is generally only a workable solution when the parents live in close proximity to one another. If the parents choose a co-parenting joint custody situation, Ohio courts require that a parenting plan be submitted to the court. The court will review the parenting plan and determine whether it is truly in the best interests of the child. For children of a certain age that have displayed a level of maturity, the court might take into account the preferences of the child when determining child custody.
How Will Child Custody Be Determined?
The “best interests” doctrine is applied in virtually every state in the United States when determining child custody. During a contested custody hearing, the court may gather its own evidence, even electing to appoint a person or agency as a “friend of the court,” to investigate the situation of the child and make recommendations to the judge.
The judge will begin his or her determination with the presumption that joint custody would be in the best interests of the child. Each parent can present evidence to the contrary. If there is a history of domestic violence on the part of one parent, then there will be no presumption that joint custody would be in the best interests of the child. Judges in Kentucky or Ohio will consider the following factors when deciding child custody:
- The relationships the child has with each parent, siblings, and others that have played an important role in the child’s life;
- Each parent’s wishes regarding child custody;
- How the child has currently adjusted to his or her community, school, and home;
- The motivations of the parents when asking for custody;
- Whether each parent is likely to allow the child to have continuing, meaningful, and frequent contact with the other parent;
- The mental and physical health of all those involved, and
- Any evidence of domestic abuse.
Can Child Custody Be Modified Once Determined?
Courts generally do not like to consider modifications of child custody unless there is a significant change in circumstances. These could include:
- One parent believes the child is in danger when with the other parent;
- A parent is considering physical relocation that could alter the custody arrangement;
- The custody and visitation schedule is being ignored by one parent, or
- A parent has died or become critically ill.
How Our Adams Law Covington Child Custody Attorneys Can Help
Our Covington child custody attorneys from Adams Law can assist you during a difficult child custody matter. We understand the delicate nature of child custody proceedings. Because we are skilled negotiators, we will work hard to find the right balance of custody for you and your child. Contact an experienced child custody attorney from Adams Law today.