Do grandparents have visitation rights in New York?
Are you concerned about how a divorce or parent’s death will impact your relationship with your grandchildren? Grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives. For many children, their grandparents provide emotional and financial support. That said, many grandparents wonder whether they have visitation rights. Keep reading to learn whether grandparents have visitation rights in New York and discover how a trusted Nassau County Family Law Attorney can help you protect your rights to remain an active part of your grandchildren’s lives.
How to file a petition for grandparents’ visitation rights in New York?
In New York, grandparents have a legal right to court-ordered visitation. However, they can only do so under the following circumstances:
- One or both parents have died.
- The parents have prevented them from maintaining or establishing a relationship with their grandchildren.
- Grandparents have a substantial relationship with their grandchildren.
It is critical to note that these circumstances only apply to biological grandparents. Although grandparents have the right to request court-ordered visitation, the court will only grant grandparents visitation rights as long as it is in the child’s best interest. When the court determines what is in the child’s best interest they will consider:
- The child’s age
- The mental and physical health of each person involved
- The child’s wishes (if they are mature enough to express a preference)
- The past and current relationship history between the child and parents
- Communication and the relationship between grandparents and custodial parents
- The distance between the child’s home and the location where the proposed visits will take place
If one of both parents dies, you will not have to prove your visitation rights. However, if both parents are living, you must prove that you have an existing relationship with your grandchildren. Additionally, you must demonstrate the custodial parents are preventing you from maintaining that relationship. After you have established that you have legal grounds to request visitation you can start the process by filing a petition. With this petition, you must provide the court with a proposed visitation schedule. From here, you must notify the child’s parents.
What if my grandchild is adopted?
Many grandparents are concerned that they will not be able to request court-ordered visitation because their grandchild is adopted. Adoption, however, does not diminish a grandparent’s right to request visitation. A grandparent could be awarded visitation rights as long as the court finds it is in the child’s best interests.
If you are seeking visitation rights as a grandparent, contact a seasoned Nassau County family law attorney at The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. With years of experience, we pride ourselves on offering our clients quality legal representation to help them achieve favorable results. Contact us today so we can help you file a petition to protect your rights to maintain a relationship with your grandchildren.