Divorce is difficult for every person who must go through the process, but it can be particularly heartbreaking for parents who see their children’s lives change because of their relationship decisions. In Kentucky, parents can work out child custody agreements together or can seek to have the court intervene and make child custody determinations for them pursuant to their divorces. In either case the best interests of the child guide child custody outcomes.
Because the best interests of the child are paramount, it is incorrect to assume that mothers are preferred custodians of their children following divorces than fathers. This post will talk about the factors that influence child custody outcomes that do not rely on the gender of the child’s parents. No part of this post should be read as legal advice and all questions about child custody should be answered by trusted family law lawyers in Kentucky.
Foregoing the tender years presumption
In the past, courts often deferred to the tender years doctrine when making child custody decisions about young children. There was a presumption that young children, or children of tender years, should be with their mothers after divorce. Over time, this presumption has lost favor and parents have taken a more balanced approach to raising their children between them, rather than relying on traditional domestic roles for presuming the best interests of children.
Child custody factors
Courts now look at factors that are specific to children and their families to decide how best to serve their needs in child custody arrangements. In some cases, courts can even ask the children themselves what preferences they have regarding their custody following the divorce of their parents. The health and wellness of both children and parents, as well as the relationships that they have, can be directly important to how courts decide to resolve outstanding child custody disputes.
Child custody outcomes are subjective, and past presumptions about parenting roles have been overcome. Both a mother and father can have custody of their child after divorce. Their family law lawyers can explain their specific legal needs to them to help them advocate for their child custody preferences.