A recent change to Kentucky’s custody law may be a significant win for fathers’ rights in the state. Kentucky has become the first state in the nation to make joint custody a default for separating parents. 

This new law has several important implications for divorcing or separating couples in Kentucky who have children. Child custody is often at the very center of divorce disputes, with fathers sometimes feeling that the mother is at a distinct advantage in the eyes of the law. With this change, the law aims to level the playing field in terms of child custody for both parents.

Factors regarding new joint custody law

The new law is set to go into effect in July 2018. Under the law, judges must use joint legal custody as the starting point when examining the factors surrounding a couple’s divorce. However, this does not mean that judges automatically grant joint legal custody. There are several factors that go into the decision-making regarding child custody, and judges will still take all of these factors into account. Some of the elements that affect consideration include the presence of a domestic violence protective order (either past or current), which would prevent joint custody.

Changes for fathers’ rights

The most important development this new law signals is that of creating a more equal opportunity for fathers to share parenting responsibilities with their ex-spouses. This law aims to ensure that fathers receive fair treatment when it comes to issues of child custody, particularly in a divorce that becomes contentious and has to go before a judge. Some couples are able to work out joint custody agreements on their own without having to go to court, but for couples who cannot agree, this law offers the chance to start from an equal footing.

If you are a father facing a separation or divorce and you are concerned about your rights, you should speak to an attorney who handles fathers’ rights cases. An attorney with specialized experience in these types of proceedings can give you strategic advice and assistance regarding how you can ensure the protection of your parental rights.