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While custody laws in Kentucky protect the best interests of the child by design, when these matters go to trial, they wind up in the hands of a judge to whom your child is a stranger. At The Grinnell Firm, we believe that it is better and healthier for parents and children alike if you and your spouse can reach an agreement regarding custody and/or visitation matters outside of court. That way, you as parents maintain control over the decisions that will affect your child’s life after the divorce, and your family can avoid the stress of going to court. 

Custody and visitation are often contested issues in a divorce, and it is easy to see why. As parents, you and your spouse each want to maintain as much time together with your child as possible, and while you certainly each want what is best for your child, you may have fundamental disagreements over what is in your child’s best interests. There are now a number of alternative dispute resolution methods, including the collaborative process, that may allow you to reach an agreement without taking the matter to court. 

Unfortunately, however, sometimes the differences between you and your spouse are too great to work out through methods of alternative dispute resolution. If that is the case, the only option left is to take the matter to court, where the judge will decide on an arrangement that is in your child’s best interest on the basis of several criteria. It should go without saying that if either you or your spouse has a history of child abuse, the judge will take that into consideration. Other criteria include the ability to provide for the child’s needs, the willingness to facilitate contact between the other parent and your child, the child’s vital facts (age, gender, etc.) and his or her relationship with each parent. 

When parents can approach child custody decisions in the spirit of cooperation, it serves to minimize undue stress for the child. More information about custody and visitation is available on our website.