When there are life-altering changes in your family such as divorce or death, it can interfere with the relationship you have with your grandchildren. That said, many grandparents wonder whether they have a legal right to grandparent visitation. If you are seeking visitation rights as a grandparent, contact a qualified Suffolk County Child Visitation Attorney who can help you fight for your rights to maintain a relationship with your grandchildren. Keep reading to learn whether grandparents can request court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren in New York.
Do I have a legal right to grandparent visitation in New York?
In New York, biological grandparents have a legal right to request visitation under certain circumstances. However, although they have the right to request visitation, the court will only grant it as long as it is in the child’s best interest. Grandparents seeking visitation must provide the court with sufficient evidence that proves they have a legal right to court-ordered time with their grandchildren. If one or both of the child’s parents die, they do not need to establish legal grounds for their request. If the child’s parents are living, they must prove there is an existing relationship with the grandchild, yet they are unfairly being denied the ability to spend time with them. That said, grandparents can only request visitation under the following circumstances:
- One or both of the child’s parents have died.
- They have an existing relationship with their grandchildren.
- The child’s parents prevented their child from establishing or maintaining a relationship with grandparents.
If a grandparent can establish one of these legal grounds, they can request visitation. However, as mentioned above, the court will only grant visitation if it is in the best interests of a child. The court will consider:
- The child’s wishes if they are mature enough to express their preference.
- The mental and physical health of all parties involved.
- The child’s age.
- The past and current relationship the grandparent has with the child and parents.
- The distance between the child’s home and where the proposed visits would take place.
What if my grandchild is adopted?
Grandparents often wonder whether they have visitation rights if their grandchildren were adopted. Fortunately, in New York, adoption does not hinder a grandparent’s ability to request visitation. As mentioned above, the primary concern the court considers is the child’s best interest. Therefore, if the court finds it is in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with their adoptive grandparents, they can receive visitation rights.
If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights, you need a trusted Suffolk County child visitation attorney on your side. At The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. you can rely on our team to fight on your behalf. We are prepared to work tirelessly to help you prove that it is in your grandchildren’s best interests to have a relationship with their grandparents.