We are going to keep kids equal time, share all expenses, and want equal decision rights. How should we write this up? Visitation will be based on our work schedules, we've agreed on days but is kinda complex if you were to write it down. We are filing ourselves and am I just looking for a little help. Thanks
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
"Kinda complex" is a recipe for disaster unless you're discussing the matter with a local attorney.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Kentucky only recognizes two forms of custody, Joint custody and Sole custody. In Kentucky Joint Custody means both parents have equal rights to make decisions effecting the general well being of the child. These decisions usually include choosing where the child goes to school, the religious affiliation, and medical decisions. Primary Residence is a term used to identify the parent in a joint custody situation with whom the child predominantly resides. Often one parent is identified as primary residence and the other is given parenting time every other weekend, one night per week, and on a holiday schedule (or whatever schedule the parents agree to). In a Joint custody situation where both parents share time 50/50 neither parent is designated as primary residence. I always suggest putting everything in writing in as much detail as possible. If you are splitting costs evenly does that mean that you are each paying costs while the children are with you or does that mean you are each going to reimburse each other of 50% of the expenses. Many people use a hybrid (each pay costs unless there is a necessary expense over $100 in which case they speak with other party ahead of time and split the cost.) Whatever you decide it should be in writing. No matter how complex the schedule it too should be in writing. Most parenting schedules have a provision that the parties are free to modify the schedule so long as they both agree. This means when your work schedules change or you wish to switch days you are free to do that if you both agree. However, the schedule is in place so that when you cannot agree there is something for you to fall back on without having to go to court. If you do not clearly articulate the schedule then it may not be of any help. Mr. Browde is correct that if it is complex you may want to have a local attorney prepare it for you. Having a schedule that is not clear, has ambiguities, or contradictions can cause more problems then it does good. If you prepare it yourself my suggestion is revise, revise, revise. Read it a couple times after you are finished and make sure that everything would be clear to a person that knew nothing about your situation (because if a judge ever has to read it they will not be as familiar with your situation as you are). Best of luck.