When parents choose to raise a child separately, the focus is often placed on the best interests of the child, but examined through the lens of the parents' preferences, as they are the ones who usually have the first say in assembling a parenting and custody plan and presenting it to a court for approval. However, parents are not the only ones who may have a vested interest in a custody arrangement and may wish to have input on the process.
In Kentucky, both the grandparents of a child and the child may have input on a custody arrangement with the approval of the court. Grandparents may petition a court for their own reasonable visitation privileges, even in instances where their own child, one of the parents, is already deceased. However, this right generally does not supersede a parent's right to raise the child. In some cases, a court may consider the rights of grandparents over the right of a parent, if the grandparents are the ones practically raising the child to begin with.
The court may also carefully consider the wishes of the child, provided that the child is old enough to let his or her wishes be known and understand the nature of the choices he or she makes.
If you or someone you love faces a custody dispute involving grandparents' visitation or a child's preferences, be sure to consider how to protect your rights and privileges using the strength of the law. You may find that you have more opportunities and options than you expect, allowing you to create a fair, reasonable visitation or custody arrangement that respects all parties and prioritizes the best interests of the child you love.
Source: FindLaw, "Kentucky Child Custody Laws," accessed March 16, 2018