While noncustodial parents in Kentucky might not have physical custody, they often share legal custody. This means that they have equal power to make major decisions about such elements of the child's life as education and religion. Despite this, some people unfairly view a noncustodial parent as being less engaged with the child's life.
Stories of "deadbeat dads" are common enough that many people may also perceive noncustodial parents as failing to pay child support. This is untrue, and the noncustodial parent might not even be a dad. While mothers are still more likely to have custody, courts are becoming increasingly aware of the important role that fathers play in a child's life. However, people may still assume that noncustodial parents do not do all the work of a single parent. It's important to note that the noncustodial parent is a single parent for the duration of the child's stay with them.
Not all noncustodial parents willingly relinquish custody. Some do so because they feel it is in the child's best interest. For others, it may be possible to file for custody again with better results.
Parents may reach a decision about child custody and visitation as part of divorce negotiations, or they may end up going to court. A parent who must attend a child custody hearing might want to talk with an attorney about what to expect and how to prepare. Everything from how the parent dresses and behaves in court to what documentation the parent brings to show involvement in the child's life may have a bearing on the judge's decision.