When there is a significant change in your grandchild’s life, such as their parents getting divorced, or one parent passing away, you may worry about how it will impact your relationship with your grandchild. This can especially concern you if there is resistance in your attempts to spend time with your grandchild. Please keep reading to learn more about whether grandparents have rights in New York.
Our Rochester family law attorney can help you through this challenging time. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office to schedule a consultation.
When Do Grandparents Have Rights to Visitation?
You may have gone your whole life without worrying about going to court for visitation, which may be utterly foreign to you. In New York State, you can establish a legal right to visitation with your grandchildren for several reasons.
You can request visitation if one or both of the parents have passed away. When both parents die and a guardian takes over, you may worry about maintaining a relationship with your grandchild. If one parent dies, and you don’t have a great relationship with the surviving parent, you can take legal action to stay in your grandchild’s life.
You can establish your legal right to court-ordered visitation if you have a relationship with your grandchild that is already substantial. A well-established relationship would have to have pre-dated the parents’ passing or divorce.
If the child’s parents have tried to keep you away, and you wish to continue to nurture a relationship with them, you can reach out to a lawyer. Unfortunately, this legal right is not extended to great-grandparents. However, adoptive grandparents have rights in New York State.
Proving Your Case
The following details what you need to do to prove your case in court. Our Rochester family law attorney handles the brunt of the work for you, so you don’t have to worry about how all of this is going to get done. Please keep reading to learn more.
Establishing Legal Grounds
In instances where both of your grandchild’s parents have died, you will automatically have legal grounds established. However, if the parents are living, you must prove to the court that you have an existing relationship with your grandchild that their parents have prevented from nurturing.
The parent or parents of your grandchild are going to be given significant consideration when it comes to who their child gets to have visitation. If there is animosity shared between the parents and yourself, this will be noted in the case. It may not be a reason for the court to deny your request, but it is relevant.
Although grandparents have rights, objections parents have to the grandparent’s involvement in their children’s lives are going to be taken into consideration when you file your claim for visitation.
Your Grandchild’s Best Interest
The court is always going to decide what to do based on the best interest of the children involved. Your grandchild’s best interest will be considered when determining how your case resolves.
The court will take into account how old your grandchild is, what they prefer (depending on maturity), how far apart you live, everyone’s physical and mental health, your relationship with the parents, and your ability to nurture a relationship with the parents.
An attorney will be assigned to your grandchild to help represent their best interests.
Starting the Process
The process of establishing visitation rights begins with a written request. This formal request is a petition to the county where your grandchild lives. You will detail your proposal for visitation in the petition. The parents must be notified that you have filed a petition.
Grandparents have rights to modify an existing court order to gain more visitation if they wish.
Meet Our Rochester Family Law Attorney
Attorney Michelle Cimino has been helping clients since 1997. She is the go-to attorney for family law issues, including grandparent’s rights. If you want to meet with her to discuss your case, please get in touch with the office today to schedule your consultation.
Grandparents have rights and should act on those rights when they feel their relationship with their grandchildren is being destroyed.