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Facts on custody and visitation rights for Kentucky grandparents

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2022 | Uncategorized

The legal proceedings of divorce may allow an involved grandparent to guard their relationship with a grandchild.

What can a grandparent do to gain custody or visitation rights?

How a grandparent can gain child custody

The preference for guardianship is the de facto custodian, not necessarily a biological parent. Kentucky Statutes section 403.270 states a person who supports the child financially and proves to be the child’s primary caregiver can claim status as the de facto custodian.

A child under the age of three must have lived with the grandparent for at least six months. A child over three must have dwelled with the grandparent for at least 12 months. A judge may decide for joint custody with biological parents.

How a grandparent might assure visitation

Parents can rear a child as they please, so a child’s custodian could keep the child from grandparents. A grandparent who can prove with clear and convincing evidence that a parent or guardian is not acting in the child’s best interest may gain visitation rights.

A court considers the following factors to determine a child’s best interest:

  • the amount of time a child and grandparent spent together;
  • the benefits or drawbacks of grandparent visitation;
  • the nature of the relationship between child and grandparent;
  • how visitation would affect a child’s relationship with parents;
  • the child’s wishes; and
  • the physical and mental health of the parties involved.

If denied visitation with a grandchild, a reasonable first step is to pursue peace with the parent or guardian and state a desire to stay close to the child. While there are no guarantees about legal steps for recourse, a lawyer can provide accurate advice on a grandparent’s options.

When divorce looms, grandparents can work to stay close to grandchildren. Forethought and careful action can help the process.