National Parents Organization gives Kentucky good score for child custody cases

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - A new report card out on child custody cases ranked Kentucky at the top.

Two tort claims have been filed against a Washington county by employees who say a Superior Court judge sexually harassed and assaulted them at the workplace. (Source:MGN)

The state got an 'A' from the National Parents Organization (NPO), sister station WKYT reports.

Despite the good score, the NPO says there is still room for improvement.

"There are a lot of children out there that are being deprived of one of their parents, and that parent has done nothing wrong. They've abided by the law, they've done nothing to harm the child, nothing to harm the other parent," said Matt Hancock, Kentucky chair of the NPO.

Before 2017, the court used to name a primary parent and a non-primary parent.

"You basically had one parent that got majority of the time, and the other non-primary custodian was basically every other weekend, maybe one night a week in between," said Hancock.

Hancock is working to change that. In 2017, a bill passed making shared parenting the default in temporary custody orders. In 2018, another bill passed making shared parenting the default in permanent custody orders.

"You have to be a fit and able parent, obviously a law-abiding citizen. There can't be a finding of domestic violence or abuse. If there's a finding of that shared parenting is not allowed," said Hancock.

The National Parents Organizations gave Kentucky an 'A' for those laws but Hancock says there is still room for improvement.

"We don't have an explicit provision against a false allegation of domestic violence. So you might see sometimes a parent accuse something, file a false accusation. Right now there's no consequence for that, no punishment if you will, for a false allegation," said Hancock.