Divorces cause significant changes among family dynamics. Parents can apply for custodial rights, but when a judge rules to grant one parent sole custody, grandparents' relationships with their children may prove negatively affected.
If your son or daughter was denied custody by a Kentucky court, you, as a grandparent, may still have the opportunity to apply for visitation rights. Judges work diligently to ensure that children's lives are not detrimentally affected by separating family members. If you have a strong relationship with your grandchildren, you may apply for the right to visit them, but you need approval by a Kentucky court to ensure your visit's legality.
Applying for reasonable visitation
Kentucky law states that a court may grant a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild -- so long as it is in the child's best interest to do so. When the court decides the issue of "reasonable visitation," it looks at the quantity of time you hope to spend with your grandchildren and the frequency of your visits. Courts prefer to avoid taking away significant custody time that the sole custodial parent obtained with the court, so any awarded visitation arrangement will respect the custodial parent's rights.
Considerations for visitation rights
To determine whether your application for visitation is in the best interest of your grandchild, among other things, a court may consider:
- Your relationship with your grandchild
- Your grandchild's feelings toward visitation
- The emotional and physical wellbeing of you and your grandchild
- The custodial parent's feelings toward visitation
- The relationship between you and your grandchild's parents
Just because your child did not receive custody of your grandchildren does not necessarily mean that your relationship with your grandchildren should see detrimental effects. It is essential to hire an experienced attorney when dealing with court matters and custody rights, so that you have the best chance in obtaining visitation rights in Kentucky.