Visitation Rights for Grandparents

Grandparents with GrandchildrenGrandparents provide a unique, loving avenue for their children to know and understand their family history and to develop relationships with other family members. A loving relationship with a grandparent over a significant period of time can greatly enhance the lives of the grandchildren.

Most grandparents want to have a relationship with their grandchildren. But sometimes these relationships are interfered with. Sometimes the parents prevent the children from seeing the grandparents or interfere with their relationship.

In New York, grandparents can remedy the situation by bringing petitions in the family court under grandparents’ rights issues to be granted visitation with their grandchildren.

Troxel v. Granville

In the leading supreme court case concerning this subject, TROXEL V. GRANVILLE (99-138) 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the supreme court affirmed that parents have a fundamental right to make a decision concerning the care, custody and control of their children. Unfortunately, the interpretation of this ruling in many states has been to severely limit the rights of grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren.

Fortunately for grandparents who live in New York, the state takes a liberal point of view with regard to promoting the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.

Visitation Rights for Grandparents in New York

New York’s provision concerning grandparent visitation rights is extremely brief, but does provide visitation rights for grandparents if at least one of the parents is deceased or, as it is vaguely stated, “where circumstances show that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene.”

So, if you are a grandparent and you are being prevented from seeing or having a relationship with your grandchildren, a grandparent visitation petition can be brought in the family court of the county in which the grandchildren reside.

With regard to awarding visitation to a grandparent, the family court will take into consideration two fundamental factors:

  1. Whether or not the grandparent has a real relationship with the grandchild
  1. Whether having a relationship with the grandparent will be in the best interest of the child.

If a real relationship cannot be established, or if having a relationship with grandparent is not deemed to be in the best interest of the child, the chance of visitation being awarded to the grandparent will be very slim.

Why You Need an Attorney

Visitation rights for grandparents is a very vague area of law and unless you are being advised by a lawyer who is aware of its nuances, your chance of receiving visitation rights may be severely limited.

Therefore, you should hire an established, knowledgeable grandparents rights attorney to deal with the case and advocate on your behalf. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can help you. Call 516-605-0625 or contact me online to schedule an appointment. I am available to meet with you at your home or my office.

Like us on facebook