The Kentucky Court of Appeals decision of London v. Collins, 242 S.W.3d 351 (2007) required findings of fact regarding “best interest” of the child to be made for any custody decision. The court’s record had to include supporting, competent and substantial evidence and a lone statement that the parties agree it is in the best interest is longer considered sufficient by many courts in order to issue an order of custody. Instead, they look for specific finding for each factor described in KRS Sect. 403.270. The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that, “we believe that for a custody order to be a “custody decree,” within the meaning of KRS Chapter 403, it must be based on the standards set out in KRS 403.270(2).”Supra.
While some courts will still issue an agreed custody order without these specific findings, it is not the best practice. Even if the divorce or custody action is being submitted on the record and all parties are in agreement, it is best to submit a Deposition Upon Written Questions addressing each factor. A staff attorney for Judge Gormley over in the 14th Judicial Circuit has provided the attached example as a guide.