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I am in the process of selecting a lawyer for child custody.

 

I have a few questions to some of the people who have been through this before.

 

Joint Custody - Is this possible in Kentucky and does this entail the "every other weekend" deal or can I get him 3 days, her for 4?

 

What is the best thing for a child in most of your opinions?

 

 

Finally, how expensive can this get?

 

I have narrowed this down to 2 lawyers from previous recommendations but I am wanting to know the extremes.

 

 

I want to be a Dad 1st and foremost, and to see/be involved with my child as much as possible. I absolutely HATE the idea of only seeing him every other weekend.

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Joint custody is primarily joint decision making and has little to do with physical possession or the amount of time of visit. Usually one side is the "primary residential custodian" and the other has visitation or time-sharing. The amount of visitation on my orders begin with "Except as otherwise agreed" which means the standard visitation of every other weekend is in place and all times the parties agree. There are many other occasions for visitation...midweek when you don't have visitation...and others that are all spelled out.

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A lot of counties now have Family Court where one Judge hears everything concerning kids. Custody issues are also included in that. I work in approximately 15 counties in Eastern Kentucky and at least around here joint custody is the norm with a standard visitation schedule implemented. Even though joint custody has been awarded, one parent will retain physical custody in order to maintain environmental stability for the child.

 

The normal visitation schedule is every other weekend and an evening (like Thur. from 6-8pm) on the week in which the absent parent does not have weekend visitation. Holidays are normally rotated for odd and even years. There is also a provision for extra time during the summer (I think it's 2 weeks) for vacations.

 

Now . . . if the child is less than school age, some parents have elected to rotate days of the week (3 in one home and 4 in the other) or even 1 week at a time.

 

The best thing to do . . . is what is best for your child. Don't use him/her to get back at the other party. The best advice is to be adult's about it and remain amicable so the schedule will remain flexible.

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A lot of counties now have Family Court where one Judge hears everything concerning kids. Custody issues are also included in that. I work in approximately 15 counties in Eastern Kentucky and at least around here joint custody is the norm with a standard visitation schedule implemented. Even though joint custody has been awarded, one parent will retain physical custody in order to maintain environmental stability for the child.

 

The normal visitation schedule is every other weekend and an evening (like Thur. from 6-8pm) on the week in which the absent parent does not have weekend visitation. Holidays are normally rotated for odd and even years. There is also a provision for extra time during the summer (I think it's 2 weeks) for vacations.

 

Now . . . if the child is less than school age, some parents have elected to rotate days of the week (3 in one home and 4 in the other) or even 1 week at a time.

 

The best thing to do . . . is what is best for your child. Don't use him/her to get back at the other party. The best advice is to be adult's about it and remain amicable so the schedule will remain flexible.

 

 

I would never, ever do that.

She says if we got to court, the only time I will ever get to see him is when the court says, no more, no less.......I feel she is using our child in the way you stated, to get back at/punish me.

 

 

 

And it makes me very, very, sick.

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I would never, ever do that.

She says if we got to court, the only time I will ever get to see him is when the court says, no more, no less.......I feel she is using our child in the way you stated, to get back at/punish me.

 

 

 

And it makes me very, very, sick.

 

Very sorry to hear about your situation JD.

 

I grew up with parents that divorced when I was still very very young. I suppose it worked out, but it's hard on the kid. Best advise from someone who's been through it, act like mom's not a problem or someone you don't care for, no matter how hard that may be. Next and mostly, make sure your child can contact you no matter what day or night, and that if they need to see or speak with you in person, let them know you'll do everything you can to see them ASAP. It's not easy, but I asure you it'll mean the world to your kid, especially when they really do need you.

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Joint custody refers simply to the legal authority that both parents have equal decision-making power over substantial events affecting the children's lives - i.e. education, religious upbringing, medical care, etc. It does not refer to the time-sharing or visitation with the child, which is a separate matter. Typically, in most courts, joint custody is awarded in 90% of cases, and what the parents typically are disputing is which parent is designated as the child's "primary residential custodian," i.e., where the child primarily resides during the average week.

 

What you have not mentioned in your post is child support. The parent not dedsignated as primary residential custodian typically pays child support to the other. Be advised, that even when there is no primary residential custodian and the child shares time with each parent 50-50, it is still possible for one parent to pay the other child support.

 

There are many ways to craft a visitation, or time-sharing, schedule. Most courts have what we call Local Rules that sort of set a guideline minimum schedule. More and more parents are trying to craft 50-50 visitation schedules, which can be very difficult and very tough on the child. I have seen week-to-week schedules, 3-2-2 schedules, and all kinds.

 

My personal (not advisory) opinion is that 50-50 schedules do not work particularly well and that they can be brutally tough on children. On the other hand, children are resilient on average and can adapt at younger ages.

 

You never "stop being a father" just because you are divorcing. There is nothing you can do about it, accept now that your time is going to be cut with your child. The important ingredient in the recipe is to make that time which you are awarded or agree to that much more valuable.

 

I do not know where youive, but statewide you may expect to pay a retainer of at least $2,500 and probably more like $5,000 for a contested custody case, with fees ultimately ranging anywhere from $5,000-$25,000 depending upon the issues, the type of court you are in, and many other factors. I have seen $75,000 custody cases. That is attorney fees, and does not include child custodial evaluation expenses, deposition costs, mediator fees, etc.

 

I certainly wish you luck and am always interested in answering questions, but this really just touches the tip of the iceberg.

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Joint custody refers simply to the legal authority that both parents have equal decision-making power over substantial events affecting the children's lives - i.e. education, religious upbringing, medical care, etc. It does not refer to the time-sharing or visitation with the child, which is a separate matter. Typically, in most courts, joint custody is awarded in 90% of cases, and what the parents typically are disputing is which parent is designated as the child's "primary residential custodian," i.e., where the child primarily resides during the average week.

 

What you have not mentioned in your post is child support. The parent not dedsignated as primary residential custodian typically pays child support to the other. Be advised, that even when there is no primary residential custodian and the child shares time with each parent 50-50, it is still possible for one parent to pay the other child support.

 

There are many ways to craft a visitation, or time-sharing, schedule. Most courts have what we call Local Rules that sort of set a guideline minimum schedule. More and more parents are trying to craft 50-50 visitation schedules, which can be very difficult and very tough on the child. I have seen week-to-week schedules, 3-2-2 schedules, and all kinds.

 

My personal (not advisory) opinion is that 50-50 schedules do not work particularly well and that they can be brutally tough on children. On the other hand, children are resilient on average and can adapt at younger ages.

 

You never "stop being a father" just because you are divorcing. There is nothing you can do about it, accept now that your time is going to be cut with your child. The important ingredient in the recipe is to make that time which you are awarded or agree to that much more valuable.

 

I do not know where youive, but statewide you may expect to pay a retainer of at least $2,500 and probably more like $5,000 for a contested custody case, with fees ultimately ranging anywhere from $5,000-$25,000 depending upon the issues, the type of court you are in, and many other factors. I have seen $75,000 custody cases. That is attorney fees, and does not include child custodial evaluation expenses, deposition costs, mediator fees, etc.

 

I certainly wish you luck and am always interested in answering questions, but this really just touches the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

I have taken your advice before and talked to a lawyer you recommended and I find her very, very knowledgeable and competent.

 

I also have a person who is like a brother to me, and he is very competent and knowledgeable too.

 

One will cost me court fees, the other $3 g's up front.

 

There is also no divorce and I have paid $300 every month for 12 months, all except this month..........torn does not even describe my state of mind. She is using him as a pawn, plain and simple.

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I have taken your advice before and talked to a lawyer you recommended and I find her very, very knowledgeable and competent.

 

I also have a person who is like a brother to me, and he is very competent and knowledgeable too.

 

One will cost me court fees, the other $3 g's up front.

 

There is also no divorce and I have paid $300 every month for 12 months, all except this month..........torn does not even describe my state of mind. She is using him as a pawn, plain and simple.

 

Right. I remember now. Good luck, J.D.

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JD, I just want to re-emphasize some of the things that people have said here, with my own personal situation. Many BGPers know that I love and respect my father more than anyone else in the world. Not all of them know why, though.

 

My parents divorced when I was four and my mother moved (with me) back to KY (from NM). She made it extremely difficult to see my father and often said negative things about him, such as "if your dad loved you as much as I do, he would want to see you more than once a year," even though he lived half a country a way and was raising three teenaged kids from his first marriage by himself (his first wife died). When he would get summer visitation, he would have to fly in to Louisville, rent a car, drive to my mother's house to pick me up, drive back and fly me back to Albuquerque, then reverse the whole thing to return me. This continued until I was 18 and could make my own decision to fly by myself. There was a time in which my father lost his job after being injured and was not able to make his full child support payments (he still sent money, just not the full amount) and she would not let him see me at all or even talk to me on the phone. Luckily, my uncle that lived next door would sneak me to his house so that my dad could call me on holidays and things. My mother would belittle the homemade (handcarved) presents that he would sometimes send me for my birthday or Christmas. She would say that it was a cheap way to get me a present, though all I ever saw was the loving hands of my father in those gifts. I know all of this makes my mother sound terrible, and there are things that make it difficult to forgive her for, but there is a great deal of good in her, too.

 

However, through it all, my father never ONCE said anything negative about my mother. The time we spent together was always rich in love and positivity. He always (even to this day, 29 years after their divorce) asked about my mother and how she was doing. Our phone conversations meant the world to me, when she wouldn't let me see him. During visits, the only negative time would come when he had to return me. My dad, the Vietnam Army sergeant who served two tours, would cry and I would be miserable for days. To this day, dad still cries when I get on the plane to leave.

 

It's amazing what my father was able to teach me, being physically absent so much. The point is, through phone calls and how he conducted himself, he gave me a wonderful example of character and was (is) always there for me. Whatever happens in your case, do your best for your child, being a positive rolemodel in his life and maximizing every minute you have together. Children are smarter then adults give them credit. It's not about money when you are with him or buying him expensive presents, it's about the amount of love that you make him feel.

 

Sorry for the long story. Sometimes it's good therapy for me. Best of luck to you in your situation. Remember, you have the wonderful job of being a father. You get to help shape and mold this young child's life. Be there in whatever way you can for him as much as you can. Feel free to rant about his mother here with us on BGP (PM me if you want!), as it sounds like you will need to. But DON'T let her drag you into a negative situation with your son.

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JD, PH's best friend was in the same situation that you are in right now...with two girls. The girls and he really like what the courts ruled (after HE wrote down what he wanted and got). What the visitaiton ended up being is this: One week at her house and he has them on that weekend....next week at his house and she has them that weekend and it keeps going like this. Then, every other holiday is hers and then his....example....Easter this year him, Easter next year her....Christmas this year her, next year him. When the girls are out of school...they share that equally.

As time has gone by, she has been less and less wanting the girls at her house. She is now dating and that is just more important. He finds himself having the girls more and more which is great for him.

Good luck to you. It really sounds as though you want to do the best for your kido and your heart is in the right place!!! Kudos to you!

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JD, make sure you have an attorney that knows the law very good in the State you live in, my wife spent alot of money trying to get her kids and the attorney did not know the law well enough and we lost along with a big expensive attorney bill. Good luck my friend. JD

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JD, I just want to re-emphasize some of the things that people have said here, with my own personal situation. Many BGPers know that I love and respect my father more than anyone else in the world. Not all of them know why, though.

 

My parents divorced when I was four and my mother moved (with me) back to KY (from NM). She made it extremely difficult to see my father and often said negative things about him, such as "if your dad loved you as much as I do, he would want to see you more than once a year," even though he lived half a country a way and was raising three teenaged kids from his first marriage by himself (his first wife died). When he would get summer visitation, he would have to fly in to Louisville, rent a car, drive to my mother's house to pick me up, drive back and fly me back to Albuquerque, then reverse the whole thing to return me. This continued until I was 18 and could make my own decision to fly by myself. There was a time in which my father lost his job after being injured and was not able to make his full child support payments (he still sent money, just not the full amount) and she would not let him see me at all or even talk to me on the phone. Luckily, my uncle that lived next door would sneak me to his house so that my dad could call me on holidays and things. My mother would belittle the homemade (handcarved) presents that he would sometimes send me for my birthday or Christmas. She would say that it was a cheap way to get me a present, though all I ever saw was the loving hands of my father in those gifts. I know all of this makes my mother sound terrible, and there are things that make it difficult to forgive her for, but there is a great deal of good in her, too.

 

However, through it all, my father never ONCE said anything negative about my mother. The time we spent together was always rich in love and positivity. He always (even to this day, 29 years after their divorce) asked about my mother and how she was doing. Our phone conversations meant the world to me, when she wouldn't let me see him. During visits, the only negative time would come when he had to return me. My dad, the Vietnam Army sergeant who served two tours, would cry and I would be miserable for days. To this day, dad still cries when I get on the plane to leave.

 

It's amazing what my father was able to teach me, being physically absent so much. The point is, through phone calls and how he conducted himself, he gave me a wonderful example of character and was (is) always there for me. Whatever happens in your case, do your best for your child, being a positive rolemodel in his life and maximizing every minute you have together. Children are smarter then adults give them credit. It's not about money when you are with him or buying him expensive presents, it's about the amount of love that you make him feel.

 

Sorry for the long story. Sometimes it's good therapy for me. Best of luck to you in your situation. Remember, you have the wonderful job of being a father. You get to help shape and mold this young child's life. Be there in whatever way you can for him as much as you can. Feel free to rant about his mother here with us on BGP (PM me if you want!), as it sounds like you will need to. But DON'T let her drag you into a negative situation with your son.

Great post!:thumb:

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