Determining an acceptable custody arrangement as part of your Kentucky divorce may have caused a great deal of emotional turmoil and tension. Now that years have passed, you may hesitate to address a modification. However, it may be your best or only option depending on the situation.
The Kentucky Court of Justice details parenting guidelines based on your child’s age. If your split involved high conflict, your original parenting plan might have reflected the structure of these guidelines. The judge may modify the parenting plan if circumstances have changed since you put it in place.
Your child’s safety is a priority. If there is domestic violence in the home, the judge may modify the child custody agreement even if the other parent has not harmed your child. If your ex has acquaintances with a history of criminal behavior, the judge may also agree that a modification is in the best interests of your child.
Contempt of court
If the other parent consistently fails to follow the custody agreement, you may request a modification. Examples may include returning the child late every week or taking them on a trip without notifying you. You have to inform the other parent that their behavior violates the court order before filing for a custody modification. You must also prove that the violations affect your child’s welfare.
Not following the custody agreement is a serious matter. Violations in addition to late returns and leaving the area without notifying you might include the following:
- Withholding the child as leverage against the other parent
- Frequently missing scheduled visitation
- Not following the parenting plan
The judge may hold the other parent in contempt of court. Consequences include loss of custody, fines and potentially time in jail.
If one parent relocates a significant distance, following the existing agreement may not be feasible. You may need a new visitation schedule that can keep disruption to your child’s life to a minimum.
The laws about child custody are often complex. Understanding your custody modification options is critical for your child’s safety and well-being.