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Fathers Rights in Kentucky Family Court

I started my law practice in Louisville, Kentucky in 1995.  By the time I started practicing, Family Court was already available in Louisville.  By 1998, my practice involved was more than 50% custody and divorce cases.  At about that time, the “Fathers’ Rights Movement” was really taking off.

If you are going through a divorce or custody case and have children under the age of eighteen (18), then the Kentucky Family Court is making a decision about the most important aspect of your Family Life.  Only your life and liberty are as important when you are in Court.  For that reason, it is often tempting for clients to believe that the Court system will not listen to them because of their gender.  No lawyer who practices in this area goes a month without hearing that “The Judge doesn’t like me because…”.  In some ways, the Fathers’ Rights Movement is the pinnacle of that temptation.

Let’s be frank:  Does it happen that a Judge is biased against you because of your gender?  Sure.  It happens.  However, very rarely (and increasingly so).

If things are going according to the law, the only criterion the Court will consider is the best interest of your child or children.  KRS 403.270 states that the Court must decide custody consistent with the best interests of your child or children, taking into account factors such as the wishes of each parent; the wishes of the child; the relationship of the child with each parent, sibling, and other significant caregiver/family member; the child’s adjustment to the home, school and community offered by each parent; the mental and physical health of all involved; and the existence of domestic violence.  Notably absent is the gender of either parent.

One of the worst things an attorney can do to a client is tell them what they want to hear.  If the Court rules against you, then it must be because “…you’re a man…” rather than a serious analysis of the Ruling by the Court.  Courts make mistakes all the time.  If that were not true, then there would not be two (2) levels of appellate protection.  If you have questions about custody of your children, I will always be happy to talk to you.  Just give me a call.

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