Mullins v. Picklesimer Opinion Modification

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Mullins v. Picklesimer, The substance of the opinion remains unchanged.  The Kentucky Supreme Court modified the opinion to clarify two points:

1.   that “physical custody” of KRS 403.800 to KRS 403.880 does not require exclusive care and supervision; rather, where one renders care and supervision concurrently with another or on an equal time-sharing basis, that person would have “physical custody” of a child per KRS 403.800-403.880; and

2.   that though KRS 403.822 primarily addresses a court’s jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination, the statute also implicitly identifies those parties who may bring an action seeking initial custody of a child and so also addresses standing in initial child custody determinations. 

 Here are the inserted paragraphs:

 Page 8:

"As used in KRS 403.800 to KRS 403.880, "physical custody" means "physical care and supervision of a child ." KRS 403.800(14) . This statutory definition of "physical custody" does not require exclusive care and exclusive supervision.  Thus a person like Mullins, who for the requisite period of time performed all the traditional parental responsibilities, concurrently with another or on an equal time sharing basis, had "physical custody" under the provisions of KRS 403.800 et. seq."  

Page 9:

"Although KRS 403.822 directly addresses the issue of the court's jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination, by identifying the adult persons who must be present in the forum state for jurisdiction to arise (parent or person acting as a parent), the statute implicitly identifies those persons as parties who may bring an action seeking initial custody of the child . It would make little sense to confer jurisdiction to this state when only "a person acting as a parent" resides here, and not at the same time confer standing upon that person to assert initial custody of the child . Otherwise, the state would have jurisdiction of the matter without any resident of the state having standing to bring an action to assert initial custody in the forum. That would clearly be an unreasonable interpretation of the statute, and is one which we believe our legislature did not intend. Moreover, it would make little sense for a person acting as a parent to have standing only if there is a jurisdictional dispute about which is the proper forum state, but not to have standing when there is not a jurisdictional dispute. Again, this would produce an unreasonable result."

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