Grandparents are often an overlooked victim of divorce or acrimonious custody battles, leaving them without much or any opportunity to spend time with grandchildren whom they love. For many grandparents, their child's deteriorating relationship with the grandchild's other parent leaves them with little or no recourse for building or maintaining a strong bond with their grandchild. Fortunately for grandparents in the state of Kentucky, the law does make some provisions for grandparents' rights to a relationship with a grandchild.
Enforcing grandparents' rights is not a simple matter, and much be undertaken carefully. Ultimately, access to a grandchild is just as much about protecting and encouraging the relationship between grandparent and grandchild as it is about ensuring the wellbeing of the child. Because grandparents' rights are innately relational, it can be a very delicate matter to pursue through the courts.
In Kentucky, courts are given the right to grant a grandparent visitation rights when the court believes that this is in the child's best interest, but that is at the discretion of the court. In circumstances where a parent has passed away, the court may grant visitation rights to the surviving grandparents similar to how they might grant it to a parent without primary custody. It is also worth noting that a grandparent may pursue visitation rights after an adoption, but usually only if the adoption is granted to a stepparent, and only if the other parent has not had his or her parental rights removed.
Pursuing grandparents rights is an important aspect of remaining part of your grandchild's life, and maintaining those precious relationships is part of what makes growing older so beautiful. If your relationship with a grandchild is threatened by conflicts between the parents, do not hesitate to speak with a qualified attorney who can help you evaluate your options and ensure that your rights as a grandparent will be properly defended.