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QUESTION: What is your take on the 50/50 presumption? Is it as 50/50 across the board without taking into consideration the history of the parties or how it would affect the child(ren)? How do you plan to handle this?

RESPONSE: Custody and parenting time is addressed in K.R.S. 403.270. Paragraph (2) describes a "rebuttal presumption" that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child. That is no guarantee that the court will, or should, order joint custody and equally shared parenting in every case. To deviate from that presumption requires an evidentiary hearing at which it must be found by the court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the specific arrangement is not in the best interest of the child. The statute states a number of factors to be considered in developing the appropriate custody and parenting time schedule.

Our legislators enacted this statute for a purpose and it is the responsibility of the Family Court Judge to take the facts presented by the parties and determine how they fit within the law as it renders its decision on custody/shared parenting issues.