Kentucky Grandparent Visitation Law

Grandparents play an essential 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.

Do Grandparents Have Rights in Kentucky?

Grandparents in Kentucky have certain legal rights to visitation with their grandchildren. These rights are not absolute, but they can be significant. To obtain visitation, grandparents must show that it is in the grandchild's best interests.

They may request visitation rights with the court before or after divorce, separation, or the death of one of the child’s parents.

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 grandchild's best interests.

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 parent’s 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 place the child for adoption and terminate their parental rights, grandparent visitation may continue. However, suppose the grandchild is adopted before a grandparent obtains court-ordered visitation rights. In that case, 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 prevents a grandparent from visiting, the grandparent may ask the court to enforce the order.

If you want to obtain, modify, or enforce 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!