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KY Grandparent's Rights Update

Kentucky Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Walker v. Blair, 382 S.W.3d 862 (Ky. 2012) to examine how to interpret Kentucky grandparent visitation statute, KRS 405.021(1). The interpretation was to ensure that the Kentucky law was consistent with the US Supreme Court holding in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000). Troxel held that parents have a constitutionally protected liberty interest in rearing their children without government interference, and the courts must give appropriate weight in non-parent visitation proceedings to the parents' decision to deny visitation.  The Court held that a fit (not unfit) parent is presumed to act in the child's best interest.  Troxel held that the grandparent had to overcome this presumption by clear and convincing evidence. The Walker case was remanded for a new hearing because the court utilized case law which predated Troxel.  As such, it should be noted that the grandparents have a fairly high standard in order to get visitation, especially if the parents are united in their denial of visitation.  Also, there is no "standard visitation" for a grandparent and the court would determine the best interest of the child(ren), whether it be for short and infrequent visitation or regular ongoing and lengthy visitations. If you have questions or concerns, contact your lawyer.  For consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected]  

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