On April 13, 2016, Governor Matt Bevin signed into law a bill that allows parents and legal guardians to execute a power of attorney for the purpose of temporarily delegating parental rights and responsibilities regarding child custody. Such an appointment, while revocable by the parent or legal guardian, vests legal parental authority in the attorney-in-fact for the duration of the power of attorney, not to exceed one year. The attorney-in-fact does not, however, assume authority to consent for the child to marry, to consent for an abortion, or to consent to the termination of parental rights. For active duty military service members, such an appointment may extend to thirty days beyond the term of active duty. If the attorney-in-fact is not a grandparent, aunt, uncle or adult sibling of the child, a criminal history report and child abuse and neglect background check is required.
The law explicitly provides that such a temporary delegation does not deprive the parent or legal guardian of any parental rights, obligations, or authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of the child. It also provides that executing such a power of attorney does not constitute evidence of abandonment, abuse, or neglect. However, a parent or legal guardian may be punished for executing such a power of attorney for the purpose of permanently avoiding legal responsibility for the child or for manufacturing residency for school attendance purposes when the child does not reside with the attorney-in-fact in the district. In addition, an attorney-in-fact can be punished for requesting such an appointment to fulfill a financial debt or obligation, or for any other illegal or fraudulent purpose.
The law went into effect on July 15, 2016 and is codified at KRS 403.352.« Back to news