Child Custody Attorneys in Covington, Kentucky
When seeking marital dissolution with minor children involved, the divorcing or separating parents must establish child custody and parenting time arrangements. However, if they cannot agree on child custody matters mutually, the couples must turn to Kentucky court to help settle such divorce issues.
If you are considering a divorce and want to know how to establish or modify child custody arrangements, speak with a seasoned Kentucky family law attorney for detailed guidance. At The Berger Firm, we provide experienced legal guidance and reliable advocacy to clients in family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, and visitation schedules.
Our dedicated legal team can direct you through the legal processes involved in establishing or modifying child custody agreements and help you navigate crucial decisions. We're proud to serve clients across Covington, Kentucky, and the Greater Cincinnati area, as well as Northern Kentucky, including Florence and Newport.
Establishing a Child Custody Arrangement
In a divorce or legal separation, the parents must establish a child custody arrangement to determine the duties, responsibilities, and rights of each party. In Kentucky, child custody agreements may be established in any of the following ways:
Uncontested Custody Arrangement
In an uncontested custody arrangement, both parents are able to work together to achieve mutually acceptable custody terms and conditions. All terms agreed upon will be carefully documented, signed by both parents, and presented to the court for official approval. Generally, an uncontested custody arrangement offers a quicker and more affordable option to establish custody. In addition, both parents will have more control over the final custody agreement.
Contested Custody Arrangement
Conversely, in contested custody, both parents are at loggerheads over the terms of child custody and visitation schedule. This often requires turning to the Kentucky court to help determine custody based on the child's best interest and welfare. If your child custody battle is contested, a skilled divorce attorney can present your case diligently and help you achieve a favorable custody judgment.
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Furthermore, there are two categories of child custody In Kentucky – physical and legal custody.
Physical Custody: Physical custody determines the parent who has physical care and control of the child. The child will reside with the parent awarded physical custody.
Legal Custody: Legal custody determines the parent who will be responsible for making vital life decisions affecting the child. The parent with legal custody will make important decisions about the child's religion, education, health care, culture, and other crucial life matters.
Elements Considered in Determining Custody
As mentioned earlier, in a contested custody case, the judge is required to use the "best interest of the child" standard. Here are some factors that may be considered when determining child custody:
The wishes of parents for custody.
The reasonable wishes of the child.
The physical and mental condition of either parent.
Each parent's motivation for seeking a contested custody hearing.
The child's ability to adjust to a new home, community, and school.
One parent’s willingness to establish communication and continued contact with the other parent.
The interrelationship between the child, siblings, parents and other family members.
Any history, record, or evidence of drug use, domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect.
Any other relevant factors in determining what is best for the child.
An experienced Kentucky child custody attorney can analyze the situation and work intelligently to address and settle custody issues peacefully.
Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement
To modify an existing child custody order in Kentucky, the parent must wait for at least two (2) years after the initial decree. In addition, the parent seeking child custody adjustments must show that:
There has been a significant change of circumstances since the initial agreement which makes the order ineffective.
The child's present environment may endanger their physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.
Here are some major life events that may allow a parent to seek child custody modification:
Involuntary job loss
Changes in the parent's marital status
Changes in either parent's work schedule.
Child abuse or neglect by either parent.
The other parent voluntarily ignores the custody agreement.
The death of the custodial parent.
An experienced family law attorney can explore your available options to change the existing custody agreement, help file your petition, and represent you diligently in your case.
Get Compassionate Legal Help
Determining child custody arrangements in a divorce usually involves several complex procedures. The divorcing parents must establish a workable parenting plan, clarify parental responsibilities, and allocate parenting time. Therefore, when trying to establish a child custody agreement, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is imperative for detailed guidance.
The trusted attorneys at The Berger Firm are committed to advising and guiding clients through the complexities of divorce and child custody. Whether you want to establish a child custody agreement, create a parenting plan, or change an existing custody decree, our team can guide you through the legal steps involved. We will fight compassionately for your custody rights and help protect your family's best interests and future.
Child Custody Attorneys Serving Covington, Kentucky
If you are thinking about establishing or modifying a child custody arrangement, contact The Berger Firm today to arrange a consultation. Our dedicated attorneys have the clear legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions in your custody proceedings. We proudly serve clients in Covington, Florence, Newport, and throughout Northern Kentucky, as well as those in the Greater Cincinnati area.