Divorce and separation are highly contentious and traumatic for families. When families break up, the roles and responsibilities of individual parents change, as does the level of influence family members on either side are able to have in the lives of the children involved. This can create conflict between parents and extended family members, including grandparents. It can also create confusion as to what rights grandparents have to remain involved in the lives of their grandchildren after separation or divorce, as well as the extent to which their rights are enforceable by law if denied by either parent.
Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chapter 405, Section 21 states, “The Circuit Court may grant reasonable visitation rights to either the paternal or maternal grandparents of a child and issue any necessary orders to enforce the decree if it determines that it is in the best interest of the child to do so.”
These rights are not necessarily granted automatically. Grandparents who are met with resistance by a grandchild’s parent must appeal to a court in the district where the grandchild lives and plead their case for visitation before being granted rights. However, if the court determines grandparents’ future involvement to be in any way harmful to the child’s wellbeing, visitation rights may be denied.
Grandparents whose child’s parental rights have been terminated may still appeal for visitation rights.
Unmarried Fathers and Grandparents Rights
It is not uncommon for couples to cohabitate and raise children together without ever tying the knot. This can produce much frustration and conflict for unmarried fathers, for whom there is no legal assumption of paternity. If unwed fathers do not legally establish fatherhood by filling out a voluntary declaration of paternity, performing a paternity test, or signing the child’s birth certificate when they are born, they do not have any parental rights.
If an unwed father splits from his child’s mother without having legally established paternity, he is not assumed to be the father and, therefore, will not be granted parental rights or given consideration in a child custody agreement. In such cases, the same is true for paternal grandparents. If there are no parental rights for the father, there are no rights for paternal grandparents.
What Can Grandparents Do When Barred from Spending Time with Grandchildren?
If your grandchild’s parent is preventing you from visiting or spending time with your grandchild, mediation could provide an opportunity for resolution. If mediation fails, you may still have legal recourse. No matter your conflict with your grandchild’s parent, it is in your best interest to get the input of an experienced family lawyer before proceeding.
Talk to a Louisville Family Law Attorney Today by Calling (502) 812-1889.
Louis P. Winner is committed to helping you resolve your family conflict quickly and efficiently. He understands that family issues tend to be personally painful and that protracted legal battles are to be avoided whenever possible. That is why he is committed to providing you with the best legal advice and wise counsel possible during this challenging time.
Let Attorney help you understand your rights as a grandparent and help you move forward toward a more desirable outcome. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation with a member of our team today.