Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Kentucky

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Evidence of the following circumstances, if relevant, shall be considered by the court in all proceedings in which the court is required to render decisions in the best interests of the child:

  • Mental illness or an intellectual disability of the parent, as attested to by a qualified mental health professional, that renders the parent unable to care for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child
  • Acts of abuse or neglect toward any child
  • Substance use disorder that results in an incapacity by the parent or caregiver to provide essential care and protection for the child
  • A finding of domestic violence and abuse, whether or not committed in the presence of the child
  • Any other crime committed by a parent that results in the death or permanent physical or mental disability of a member of that parent's family or household
  • The existence of any guardianship or conservatorship of the parent pursuant to a determination or disability or partial disability

In determining the best interests of the child, the court may consider the effectiveness of rehabilitative efforts made by the parent or caregiver intended to address circumstances in this section.

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