Kentucky law surrounding grandparents' visitation rights is often misunderstood, causing many grandparents to feel excluded from their grandchildren's lives after a divorce or custody battle. At Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey, we frequently encounter cases where grandparents, who had once nurtured close relationships with their grandchildren and even raised them, are now struggling to maintain contact.
Though many people believe that Kentucky doesn't have grandparents' rights, this isn't exactly true. Not only can grandparents get visitation if the court believes it's in the grandchild's best interests, but the Kentucky Legislature further expanded the rights of grandparents to visit--and maintain a relationship--with their grandchildren with the passage of House Bill 517 (HB 517). Signed into law in April 2018, HB 517 amended the grandparent visitation statute (KRS 405.021) to create a presumption that grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interest when:
- There is a significant and viable relationship between the child and grandparent
- The parent who is the child of the grandparent is deceased
Additionally, the new law requires that when one set of grandparents is awarded temporary custody of a child, the court must consider granting visitation rights to any grandparents not awarded custody.
Seeking Visitation Rights With Your Grandchild
Feeling left out of your grandchild or grandchildren's lives and missing big, meaningful life events can be heartbreaking. If you're considering seeking visitation rights with a grandchild, we strongly recommend discussing the issue with the child's parent(s) first. Oftentimes, these matters can be resolved outside of the courtroom, saving everyone significant time, money, and heartache. However, if you cannot come to an agreement, our knowledgeable and experienced Radcliff lawyers can help you explore your legal rights and options.
Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey's highly skilled central Kentucky lawyers are committed to helping grandparents maintain happy, healthy, and loving relationships with their grandchildren.