In Kentucky and most other states, custody matters are determined on the basis of the children’s best interests. If one parent is unsuited for joint legal custody, the other parent must present evidence to the court about the child’s interaction with that parent, the child’s interaction with their siblings, and the child’s interactions with their community (their school, church, organizations, friends, etc.). Evidence of abuse would be another factor in the best interest test.
If a child does not want to live with one parent, there will have to be evidence that shows that it also wouldn’t be in the child’s best interest to live with that parent. For instance, if a child has no real emotional connection or attachment to one of their parents, and the child were to become very sullen or depressed and begin isolating themselves, then the other parent would have to bring those issues to court. The court could appoint the child their own attorney and that attorney would be called the guardian ad litem, who would speak for the child. The court could also appoint what’s known as a friend of the court, who would conduct an investigation of the underlying claims that were being made about the interaction between parent and child.
There are many guardian ad litem cases in the family courts that deal with the dependency of a child and issues of abuse or neglect of a child. Those kinds of cases are handled by a different standard of law, but they still revolve around what’s in the best interest of the child. If the alleged abusive or neglectful parent denies the allegations against them, then psychological experts, psychologists, family law social workers, and forensic family law experts would have to weigh in on the evaluation of the situation. These situations can become very complicated, extremely expensive, and in some cases, downright ugly. The worst aspect of all is the harm done to the children who have to be involved.
For more information on Handling Custody Matters In A Divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (859) 341-2500 today.