2014 Kentucky Revised Statutes
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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 405.020.
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 his custody;
(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 interests;
(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
(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.
CHAPTER 403 - DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE -- CHILD CUSTODY
403.270 Custodial issues -- Best interests of child shall determine -- Joint custody permitted -- De facto custodian.
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