Grandparents can have a very close bond with their grandchildren and in some cases, help raise them. In Kentucky, the court recognizes that there are circumstances where grandparents may want to file a petition for custody or visitation rights with their grandchildren.
This could be for several reasons, including when the parents are not supporting the child, are neglectful or are absent. Grandparents may believe they are in a better position to support the child’s physical, emotional and social needs.
When deciding whether to grant custody or visitation rights, the court will consider several factors. These include the child’s relationship with the grandparents and whether visitation would be in the child’s best interest. It may also review the child’s current social connections, community involvement and education setting.
Grandparents who want to request custody or visitation must follow several steps. First, they must file a petition in the court where the child resides.
The petition should clearly state why the grandparents are making the request and include evidence. Then, all relevant parties must be given proper notice of the proceedings, including the child’s parents.
The court will hold a hearing where the grandparents and the child’s parents will be able to present evidence and arguments to the judge.
After reviewing the evidence, if the court decides it is in the child’s best interests to be placed with the grandparents, it will issue a court order. The court order is binding, and all parties must comply with its requirements.