Even in the best of circumstances, child custody and visitation issues in Kentucky present emotional hardships for parents and children. The presence of complicating factors, such as distance or medical issues, increase the difficulty for everyone involved. In some cases, extra paperwork must be filed to ensure child support is paid from a spouse now residing in a different state. The smooth management of these issues can be helpful to young children already feeling confused by divorce and can help foster meaningful relationships.
A case in point is the custody battle between Bristol Palin and Dakota Meyer concerning their daughter. According to an article in People, a months-long legal battle culminated with Meyer receiving joint legal and physical custody of the child as well as generous visitation rights. A complicating factor in this settlement concerned the distance between the two parties: Palin lives in Alaska while Meyer, the father, lives in Kentucky. Palin sought to only allow brief visits for Meyer, but the Alaska judge granted Meyer the right to visit twice a month for four days at a time. Though the decision was not what Palin wanted, the court papers stated the agreement was the consequence of actions Palin took to move to Alaska.
According to WFPL News Louisville, Kentucky was the first state where joint custody of children after a divorce is the default position. The Governor signed the law into effect in 2018. Joint custody can still be denied in cases where a parent demonstrates poor behavior such as violence against the child. Supporters of the law believe it can result in a better environment for children of divorce.