Non-parent custody issues often arise where a parent has proven unfit to care for a child, and a non-parent must step in to provide care for the child.
To gain legal custody rights, a non-parent must show that the parent is unfit, which is often difficult to do. The non-parent must prove one of the following: that the parent is unsuitable and harmful to the child; has signed an agreement to surrender custody; OR that the parent is otherwise unqualified to claim custody.
Defacto custodian status gives a non-parent the same rights to a child as a parent, which is very strong. However, it can be difficult to qualify for defacto custodian status. Qualifying for defacto custodian status requires the non-parent meet several requirements.
If the child is under the age of three, then the child must live with the non-parent for six months or more.OR if the child is over the age of three, then the child must live with the non-parent for a year or more.
The non-parent must have actual possession of the child and must stand in the place of a parent, providing financial support and care for the child.
Once a non-parent can establish this, they can be awarded defacto custodian status and enjoy the same standing in custody matters as a biological parent.
If you have questions about child custody or visitation in Kentucky, you should contact an experienced family law attorney with Hurst & Hurst Law to discuss your options at (859) 209-2101.
Thanks for the information. I can prove de facto custodian status as I have provided all care, financial, and supervision for two minor children for 14 months continuously.
My real question is: I am not the grandparent, but the great aunt of these children. I’m assuming I can be granted de facto, regardless of my kinship status. But how do I obtain this? Is there an application? Must I only complete this task w/an attorney or can I approach the court w/an application/document myself?
In the State of Kentucky, any individual that meets the requirements of de facto custodian status can petition the court to be awarded that status.
To acquire this recognition of this status requires motioning the court to be awarded that status, and it can be done either with an attorney or representing yourself.
I have spoken to my county attorney about my situation. He told me that I need to have a lawyer to represent me. Can I do this on my own through court? Please help me with this.
Every person has the right to represent themselves in legal matters,and bring a case on their own behalf. Doing so is called pro se. Pro se means that you are representing yourself in a legal matter.
I am a great Aunt was awarded de facto coustions in court, but the judge want to give one grandparent like 5 hours with her unsupervising visitations, don’t agree with it, is there anything we can do ,family services is the ones who said had to supervising visit…with mom, dad and grandparents…we’ve had her sience birth and is 7 yrs old..never has been away from us.”
To further answer your question, would require reviewing the court records, and family services. I recommend speaking with a family law attorney that specializes in this area.
I have had my step grandson since birth. My husband and I got temp custody when he was born. The mother was given custody back after 6 months. Since that time the child has remained with my husband and I the biggest part of the time. The mother would come and take the child occasionally. Sometimes keeping him during the day while I worked but returning him at night. The mother has been in and out of jail. The father signed a paper in court stating he was the father. There has never been a DNA. The mother was arrested a little while back and was going to take the child away unless we paid her out of jail. She also agreed to sign over custody, which she did upon release. While she was in jail we filed for de facto custodian of the child. The mother and father have obtained an attorney. We need to know if the mother’s signature giving us custody is legal.
You need to speak with a family law attorney regarding these issues in more detail. I can not properly advise you on your question with a great deal more information on the circumstances and issues.
My husband was awarded full custody of his child when the child was 3. Essentially, the mother failed to show up to court during 5 different dates, and he was basically awarded complete custody with visitation with the mother completely left up to him, and no child support was asked of her. Prior to this, the mother had hidden the child, left him with complete strangers while she chased drugs, and had left him with a man whom she had known for 3 days prior to being arrested for a DUI when my husband was contacted, given his location, and filed for custody shortly after.
The last PLANNED meeting she has had with the child was August 1st, 2015, where she agreed to give us $150.00 to help pay for school supplies. Before that, she last saw him in April 2015, and made maybe two phone calls in June. I have resided in the same home as the child since April 2015, he no longer can tell you the name of the “mother,” and swears that “he was in my tummy just like [his brothers] by his own judgement. Seven months ago, my husband was in an accident and work that has left him basically unemployed. I have provided emotional, physical, mental and financial care of the child since April 2015, and even before as we were around eachother nearly daily starting in December 2014. His bio-mom hasn’t contacted us, and we couldn’t contact her if we tried, because she moves around too much and always has a different cell phone number. We explained to her last summer that if she wanted to be in his life, she needed to remain consistent, because he was being seen by a physician for attachment disorders that stem from the constant drop-off/neglect/abandonment of her part.
As of yet, we have not filed any sort of motion with the court to terminate her rights so that I may adopt him, but he has signed documents from the court allowing me POA for medical and school purposes which I exercise 100%.
Would this be enough, generally, to gain me defacto guardianship, or would it be more wise to just continue doing as we are so that no contact with her is initiated that would stir up an entirely new different can of crazy? This being said with the assumption that she would be notified upon petition of my motion to gain defacto custodianship. Should we just want to see if she ever initiates anything within the court?
There is also no possibility that she would willingly sign over her rights. I have documentation showing where she attempts to con people out of money by claiming she has him with her, he is sick, he is dying in Vanderbilt, etc, so not to have any sort of legal ties to him at all would be detrimental in continuing in her lifestyle.
If you would like to discuss this in detail, please call our office at (859)209-2101 and we can set up an appointment for you to discuss your options with an attorney.
Grandparents have raised child for several years. No custody agreement was set between biological parents. Biological mother signs de facto custodian to grandparents. Father is in good standing, has a realtionship with the child, has a home, and income. Grandparents (de facto custodians) have petitioned the court for full custody, knowing the father wants to transition the child to his home. The father seeks to slowly transition the child to his home, to not traumatize her. Grandparents do not want biological father to have child and uses the excuse that the child does not want to see him. The child is six years old. Advice.
To be able to advise you in detail regarding these questions, please feel free to contact our office and set up a time to discuss these matters in more detail with one of our attorneys. Thank you.
My daughter moved in with us when she was pregnant and our grandson has been with us since birth. She moved out in October of last year and has only seen her son 4 times since she moved out. We provide all financial support, shelter and all other necessities for him. The father won’t answer to child support and he lives in TX. She lives here but not in our house with her son. Can we get de facto custody? It appears that we meet all the requirements since he has lived with us since birth and we provide all the financials for him. Now my daughter is talking about going back to TX with the father who wanted nothing to do with her or the baby. She has been with multiple guys and lives in a very dangerous neighborhood. When she moved out I told her she wasn’t taking the baby because the area is a high crime/murder area. She agreed not to take him. However, she has not made any effort to come see him, she doesn’t call nor send text messages.
Given he has been here since birth and she moved out in October does that qualify us for the time period needed. While living here we were also the main providers.
If you would like to discuss this in detail, please call our office at (859)209-2101 and we can set up an appointment for you to discuss your options in more detail.
Can anyone give me advice on a matter. My girlfriend lost custody of her child she still has rights and pays child support on time every time. The people that have gained custody are distant family. She’s cleaned her life up and has been sober 3 years for the last year she’s tried to prove to these ppl that she’s changed and just wants to see him. They will not let anything close to that to happen. My question is… Can she get some kind of visitation? And how to go about it.
Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Very worried in ky
Normally in these cases, if the child(ren) were removed by DCBS and placed in the custody of a family member, the first step a parent needs to take when they want to re-establish contact with the child(ren) is contact DCBS and begin working the prevention plan or case plan with DCBS. If you have specific questions please feel free to contact our office and set up a consultation with an attorney to discuss this matter in more detail.
I was awarded custody of my cousin’s son in 2007. My husband and I were give permanent custody and defacto a couple years later. We are now going through a nasty divorce, he thinks he can get custody of our son (my cousin’schild). Since we got him based on kinship and I’m the bloodline can he fight me for custody of this child?
The answer will depend on a great many factors. One of the most important is whether defacto custody was given to just you or you both. If you were both granted defacto custody, then he would have a custody claim to the child just like a biological parent or yourself. If you have specific questions about your situation, you should contact an attorney for answers; becasue the answer to many of these questions are very dependent on specifics if your situations.
Does de facto custody have to be established before I go after full custody if I’m pretty sure I could prove the (seperate) parents to be unfit and the 51% custody holder has already given judge granted guardianship to another family member? I already plan on consulting an attorney, currently researching.
Generally, defacto custodianship needs to be established prior to moving for full custody. Unless you already had custody rights via another method, such as a Child Protective Services action. However, you would need to speak with an attorney regarding the exact specifics of your case to be advised of all options and how to proceed.
Can you obtain de facto custodian in Kentucky if you are not related to the child? I recently hired an attorney for de facto but to my surprise his research on a previouse case in the state of KY has found that in Kentucky if you are not in some way related to the child then de facto does not apply. How can this be true when everything else ive read has never stated relationship as being a requirement for de facto?
In Kentucky, who qualifies as a defacto custodian is controlled by KRS 403.270. There are several factors required to be designated as a defacto custodian, however, being related to the child is not a requirement under the current Statute or caselaw.
I was awarded permanent custody in April 2018, the biological father has a dvo for three years and the biological mother hasn’t seen the child since May 2018. She’s bouncing from house to house and she has never provided for the child and he has lived with me since January 2016. The child was removed from her care by DCBS and placed with me. After a year she is calling and harrassing us and threatening us. What can I do? Can she regain custody even though the child does not know her?
The answer to that question depends on a variety of factors. The most important being the status of the orders when the DCBS case was closed. Generally when those cases are closed, there are orders setting the parents contact, it can be set as no contact until further orders of the court, set at the custodian’s discretion or something else entirely. Additional factors include what requirements the parents had as part of their case plan, their status, the mental, emotional and physical condition of the child, as well as a variety of other potential factors. You should speak with the DCBS office that worked with you and look into speaking with an attorney who can review the orders and advise you specifically in your situation.
I went to rehab and my niece was given permanent custody and as soon as it was granted she kept my child from me and even changed her name without the courts permission. She has now legally kidnapped my child. She has Defacto now and I have been clean for 3.5 years. How can the courts allow this. My legal aid attorney was not supposed to agree to this and I was not aware that was what I was agreeing to. I just wanted to see my baby she had hid from me for so long. What do I do
Your options depend on what specifically happened in your case and the means with which your niece received custody. Each of these cases are a little different depending on what has happened in the case, and where you are in your path to recover. To discuss in detail please contact our office to set up a consultation at (859)209-2101.
Hi I’ve wanting to know I’ve had this child since he was 3 weeks and the mom is my best friend and I’ve stood in as the father for him and took care of him all his life he is 4 years old now and the last time his dad seen him he was 3 weeks old kissed him on the head and left never seen him again he’s been in and out of prison he has not established maturity for him and I want to know how I can get custody of him his mom is willing to share joint custody of him with me but I want to check in to the defecto custody would you please help me thanks
William, thank you for reaching out with your question. There may be options either through defacto or through adoption for you to establish rights to this child. To discuss that in detail you would need to speak with a family law practitioner in greater detail about your situation. Feel free to call the office at 9859)209-2101 if you would like to set up an appointment with out office.