Briggs v. Clemons, Ky. App – Case Brief Summary (Kentucky)

In Briggs v. Clemons, Ky. App., 3 S.W.3d 760 (1999) the Court that "if a party to joint custody can prove that the child's present environment in the custody of the other parent endangers his physical, mental, or emotional health, that is sufficient to likewise modify joint custody, even if the evidence establishes that the parties have been cooperating in good faith with one another." Id. at 762.

The court surmised that Mennemeyer v. Mennemeyer, Ky. App., 887 S.W.2d 555 (1994) "hinted . . . that if a party to joint custody can meet the higher burden of proving grounds sufficient to modify an order of sole custody under KRS 403.340, there were per se sufficient grounds to modify joint custody." Id.

The Briggs, the mother and father of the child were awarded joint custody with an equal division of time with the child. 3 S.W.3d at 761.

The Briggs court stated that Mennemeyer "hinted" that grounds sufficient to modify a sole custody order under KRS 403.340 were also sufficient grounds to modify joint custody. Id. at 762.

The Court then specifically held in Briggs that joint custody could be modified under KRS 403.340 even if the parties were cooperating with each other as long as a party could prove that the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health was endangered. Id.