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ASHLAND Some Kentucky legislators are hoping to put another option on the table for judges deciding on child custody cases.
The National Parents Organization has been advocating for shared parenting laws in Kentucky for a few years.
Sen. Ernie Harris and Rep. David Osborne, both Republican state legislators from Prospect near Louisville, have sponsored bills in their respective chambers to enable judges to allow separated or divorced parents the option of shared parenting in temporary custody orders.
Shared parenting allows parents to not only make joint decisions (such as medical, religious, educational and other activities), but also lets them evenly split their time caring for the child or children.
State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, is also a sponsor of Harris’ bill and said shared parenting is advantageous for everyone involved if the child has two parents with true desire to be active in sharing that responsibility.
“The best interests of the child are paramount,” Webb said.
Webb is a practicing lawyer in Grayson and said she also believes an option for shared parenting can benefit judges by giving them more flexibility in custody rulings.“You’ve just got so many diverse family situations now,” Webb said. “People have to work long hours, multiple jobs. It’s just necessary sometimes for the judge to be able to find the right balance.”
Matt Hale, director of the NPO in Kentucky, said shared parenting is more “complete” than joint custody, which is the result of nearly 80 percent of the state’s custody cases. ~~ By LANA BELLAMY