As always, the answer to this question depends on many factors, including what might happen if you let your child see the ex’s parent or former spouse (or partner). In these types of situations, you should sit down and talk over your specific situation with a qualified family law attorney before making a final decision so that you know what might happen if you decide to let your child see an ex’s parent or former spouse (or partner). The answer to this question also depends where the original custody order was entered, whether you and your ex now live, in what court the child custody orders may be filed, and whether you and your ex are still living in the place where the last child custody orders were entered. But…
Your rights as a parent do not depend on whether you are the “residential parent” or the “non-residential parent.” Kansas does not recognize any legal differences between the two. You (and your ex) are “parents.” And as “parents” you both have the same rights, duties, and obligations (unless the child custody order in some way restricts those rights to one or the other of you). As a parent, you have the right to allow your child to see or “visit” with anyone you feel it appropriate and safe for your child to – just as your former child’s other parent has a right to allow your child to see or visit with anyone she or he feels appropriate.
The “rub” of course, comes in what your ex does – or might do – if you let your child see your ex’s parent or former spouse (or partner). And that is why you should consult with a lawyer.
Kansas law provides that a grandparent or step-parent may obtain visitation through the court if that grandparent or step-parent has a “substantial relationship” with the child and it is in the child’s best interests that the child visit with that person. Although parents each are presumed to act in the child’s best interests, the court has the ultimate say.