2011 Kentucky Revised Statutes
CHAPTER 403 DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE -- CHILD CUSTODY
403.270 Custodial issues -- Best interests of child shall determine -- Joint custody permitted -- De facto custodian.
403.270 Custodial issues -- Best interests of child shall determine -- Joint custody
permitted -- De facto custodian.
As used in this chapter and KRS 405.020, unless the context requires
otherwise, "de facto custodian" means a person who has been shown by clear
and convincing evidence to have been the primary caregiver for, and financial
supporter of, a child who has resided with the person for a period of six (6)
months or more if the child is under three (3) years of age and for a period of
one (1) year or more if the child is three (3) years of age or older or has been
placed by the Department for Community Based Services. Any period of time
after a legal proceeding has been commenced by a parent seeking to regain
custody of the child shall not be included in determining whether the child has
resided with the person for the required minimum period.
(b) A person shall not be a de facto custodian until a court determines by clear
and convincing evidence that the person meets the definition of de facto
custodian established in paragraph (a) of this subsection. Once a court
determines that a person meets the definition of de facto custodian, the court
shall give the person the same standing in custody matters that is given to each
parent under this section and KRS 403.280, 403.340, 403.350, 403.822, and
The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child
and equal consideration shall be given to each parent and to any de facto custodian.
The court shall consider all relevant factors including:
(a) The wishes of the child's parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to
(b) The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
(c) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his
siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best
(d) The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community;
(e) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(f) Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS
(g) The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by
any de facto custodian;
(h) The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto
(i) The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in
the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking
custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic
violence as defined in KRS 403.720 and whether the child was placed with a
de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek
employment, work, or attend school.
The court shall not consider conduct of a proposed custodian that does not affect his
relationship to the child. If domestic violence and abuse is alleged, the court shall
determine the extent to which the domestic violence and abuse has affected the
child and the child's relationship to both parents.
The abandonment of the family residence by a custodial party shall not be
considered where said party was physically harmed or was seriously threatened with
physical harm by his or her spouse, when such harm or threat of harm was causally
related to the abandonment.
The court may grant joint custody to the child's parents, or to the child's parents and
a de facto custodian, if it is in the best interest of the child.
If the court grants custody to a de facto custodian, the de facto custodian shall have
legal custody under the laws of the Commonwealth.
Effective: July 13, 2004
History: Amended 2004 Ky. Acts ch. 133, sec. 42, effective July 13, 2004. -- Amended
2000 Ky. Acts ch. 14, sec. 51, effective July 14, 2000. -- Amended 1998 Ky. Acts
ch. 250, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1998. -- Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 169, sec. 2,
effective July 14, 1992. -- Amended 1980 Ky. Acts ch. 158, sec. 1, effective July 15,
1980. -- Amended 1978 Ky. Acts ch. 86, sec. 1, effective June 17, 1978; and ch. 369,
sec. 1, effective June 17, 1978. -- Created 1972 Ky. Acts ch. 182, sec. 17.
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