Kentucky is the first state to enact legislation that creates a presumption of joint custody and equal timesharing. This means that in every case the Judge will start with a presumption that it is in the child’s best interest for the parents to have joint custody and that they should share equal timesharing.
The new statute sets out factors whereby the parties can overcome the presumption and ask the Court for a different type of Custody or Timesharing schedule. Most notably, in cases of domestic violence, there is an exception for cases involving domestic violence. This new statute also takes into account a few new “factors” that the court will look at in such cases. Perhaps most striking, is that the Court can now look at the motivation of the parties in regards to timesharing. This means that if there is one parent, who just does not want the child to spend time with the other parent, and the motivation is something other than the child’s best interest (anger towards the other parent, for example), the court can look at that when Ordering timesharing.
Since the inception of this new statute, most judges have made it clear that they intend to follow this presumption absent good cause. It is important to understand that when you are engaging in a divorce or child custody action, the Courts take this new presumption seriously.