Divorce is a difficult process to go through in Kentucky under the best of circumstances. When children and the question of child custody are involved the process can become much more stressful and complex. Understanding the legal terms that applicable to custody decisions can help to clarify what is at stake and help to keep the best interest of the child at the forefront at all times.

When custody is being negotiated by the parents or decided by the court, there are multiple issues to be considered. Chief among these are where the child will reside, how the child will be supported and who will have legal custody of the child. Physical custody refers to where the child will spend the majority of his or her time. In a true joint custody situation, this typically means that a child splits time as equally as possible between both parents.

Legal custody refers to who has the right to make decisions regarding the child. These decisions can range from what religion the child will be brought up in, what sports he or she may be allowed to play and what medical care is or is not provided. It is preferable for parents to be able to agree on these issues, but when they cannot, the court may have to step in and decide what is in the child’s best interests.

Custody issues can become contentious in any divorce proceeding in Kentucky. Ironing out differences can be difficult and emotional. Understanding the legal terminology and implications of different custody decisions can assist with what can be a very difficult and emotional process.