Legal Information: Kentucky


September 21, 2017

Can a parent who committed violence get custody or visitation?

Possibly. The court will evaluate how the domestic violence and abuse has affected the child and the child’s relationship to both parents.1  The law says that a parent who is not granted custody is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the judge finds, after a hearing, that visitation would seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.2  If the judge determines that there was domestic violence but the judge believes there should still be visitation, s/he should make a visitation arrangement which would not seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health of the child or of the abused parent.3 

Note: If either you or the other parent request it, the judge is supposed to issue an order that specifically lays out how often visitation should be, how long the visits are, when it should take place, the conditions for the visits, and a method of scheduling visitation.  The order should also reflect the development and age of the child.2

Often it is best to have a in a custody case, especially one involving domestic violence issues.  For information on how to find a lawyer, see our KY Finding a Lawyer page.

1 KRS § 403.270(3)
2 KRS § 403.320(1)
3 KRS § 403.320(2)