Arizona grandparents may be interested to hear of a recent Kentucky Supreme Court case. The 6-1 ruling by the court has made establishing grandparents' visitation rights in that state more difficult to achieve.
The court ruled that it must be presumed that parents who won't allow a grandparent visitation are acting in the child's best interest. Grandparents in Kentucky must now provide evidence that is clear and convincing to legally overcome the parents' objection to visitation. The court also stated that grandparents must show that they have a strong bond with the child, and that breaking the bond could cause the child distress.
Family lawyers in Kentucky said that the ruling makes it extremely hard for a grandparent to overrule the parent's objection. One former judge indicated that the court's decision gives almost complete control to the parent.
The lone dissenting justice in the case said that grandparents should be able to rebut the court's presumption based on the preponderance of evidence in a given situation. However, it appears that the parents will ultimately have the final say in Kentucky.
In Arizona, complex family situations often require consultation with a family law attorney. Grandparents who have been denied visitation with their grandkids need to be aware of the available options. Since many factors go into determining grandparent's rights in Arizona, grandparents who have been disallowed from seeing their grandchildren should have a full understanding of whether a successful legal action is possible.
Source: The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Supreme Court weakens grandparents' rights to see grandchildren," Andrew Wolfson, Oct. 26, 2012