Kentucky Grandparent Visitation Law

Grandparents play an important role in many families throughout Kentucky. But when a grandchild’s parents file for a divorce or separate, such an event can affect the relationship between the child and the grandparents. 

Does Kentucky Have Grandparents' Rights?

Fortunately, grandparents in Kentucky can legally request reasonable visitation with their grandchild. They may request visitation rights with the court before or after divorce, separation, or the death of one of the child’s parents. 

  • Grandparents have the “burden of proof” to show that court-ordered visitation is in the best interests of the child.  

Remember, state courts automatically presume parents act in their child’s best interests, which includes approving or rejecting grandparent visitation rights. Therefore, if one or both parents object to grandparent visitation, the grandparent(s) must overcome this presumption by showing how court-ordered visitation is in the best interests of the grandchild. 

Common factors the court will consider include: 

  • The grandparent’s relationship with the grandchild 

  • The amount of time the grandparent spends with the grandchild 

  • How the court-ordered visitation will affect the parents’ relationship with their child 

  • Each party’s physical and emotional well-being 

  • The child’s wishes (depending on his/her age) 

Additionally, if the grandchild’s parents end up placing the child for adoption and terminate their parental rights, grandparent visitation may continue. However, if the grandchild is adopted before a grandparent obtains court-ordered visitation rights, the child’s adoptive grandparents will be given such rights, unless the court determines that it is in the child’s best interests to continue having a relationship with his/her biological grandparents. 

Grandparents may request visitation by filing a petition in the county family court where the grandchild resides. If there is an existing grandparent visitation order, a grandparent may request more time by modifying the order. If the child’s parent is preventing a grandparent from visiting, the grandparent may ask the court to enforce the order. 

If you are interested in obtaining, modifying, or enforcing grandparent visitation in Bowling Green, contact the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher today at (270) 977-8910 for experienced legal assistance. Serving clients in Kentucky since 1988!