DeFacto Custodian – Ky Court of Appeals Published Opinion

Little girl mixing cherries in the cake batter with her mother


Children resided in caretaker’s home for less than seven months after placement by CHFS and then were returned to Father. Upon caretaker’s Petition, the trial court designated him a de facto custodian. Father appealed arguing caretaker did not meet the statutory requirements to be a de facto custodian. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court holding that the plain language of KRS 403.270(1)(a), requires a caretaker reside with children over the age of three for at least one year before they can properly petition for status as de facto custodian. There is no tacking provision or other mechanism that would allow a caretaker to add his or her time to that of other non-parents.

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell