Frustrated because his son doesn’t have the same visitation rights as the child’s mother, a Sergent grandfather has started a petition asking the Kentucky legislature to modify time-sharing guidelines.
“If a man is willing to raise his child and is a good person, he should get 50 percent custody and 50 percent visitation,” said Buddy Sexton, whose son sees his child 48 hours every other weekend. “The child visitation schedule is very discriminatory to the fathers. It happens to women as well.”
The visitation schedule for Sexton’s grandson begins at 5 p.m. on a Friday and ends at 5 p.m. on a Sunday. Sexton’s grandson sees his father for two days every two weeks.
“There’s two weeks we don’t get to see him or know what is going on,” said Sexton. “There’s no time to take him on fishing trips.”
Sexton’s son is also allotted time to spend with his child for two hours every other Tuesday evening. With the weekend and Tuesday evening visitation, Sexton said his family is with his grandchild 7.44 percent in a month. Sexton wants the legislature to revisit Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 403.
“ The law itself is the cause,” he said. “What we are after is to change that law. That thing is way out of date.”
Sexton pays close attention to the time-sharing guidelines his son was given.
“We follow the rules to the very ‘T’,” he said. “It’s as clear as mud a lot of it is.”
The Sextons pay $246 a month in child support on behalf of their son who is unemployed and has joint custody of the child.
“If a man has to pay child support, why doesn’t he get to see his child?” said Sexton. “We have so much to offer this child. We have college money laid aside. Why not give us time with this child?”
Denying a child the time with his father is mental abuse, he said.
Sexton says his family isn’t the only one in Letcher County that is dealing with similar issues.
“Other families in Letcher County are going through the same thing,” he said. “People tell us ‘We don’t get to see our grandbabies either.’”
In less than three weeks, nearly 500 people have signed the petition, which Sexton plans to give to State Rep. Leslie Combs.
“We’re hoping this will make an impact,” said Sexton. “I’d just like to bring this to light. We just want equal time with our child and it should be that way.”
To sign Sexton’s petition, call Sexton at (606) 633-4731 or (606) 634-5704. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’ve gotten to the point where I’ve thrown my hands up and let the Lord handle it,” said Sexton.