Grandparents’ Rights in New York | What to Know

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In most cases, both parents will be awarded custody. But, this is not always the case. Sometimes, only one parent is awarded custody, meaning this parent has sole custody. When a custody decision is made, it often impacts an entire family. It can be incredibly difficult when a custodial parent attempts to cut the child off from other family members. This may occur when it comes to the child’s grandparents on the non-custodial side. Luckily, there are steps you can take to rectify the situation. In New York, certain family members can request a visitation order. Read on to learn more about grandparents’ rights in New York.

Who Can Request a Visitation Order?

It is important to note that only parents, grandparents, and siblings can request orders for visitation in New York State. Other relatives, such as uncles, aunts, and stepparents are not permitted to request visitation orders, regardless of how close the child is to that relative.

What Will a Court Consider?

When it comes to custody and visitation decisions, a New York court is working to do what is in the child’s best interests. The goal is to ensure that the child’s standard of living is the same or better than it was before the divorce occurred. A grandparent must be able to prove that keeping the child from them would be doing more harm than good. In order to make a decision, the court will examine a number of factors, which may include:

  • The relationship between the guardian or parent and the applicant
  • The time that has passed since the last contact with the child
  • The bond between the child and applicant
  • Whether these visitation rights will have a positive or negative effect on the child
  • The good faith of the applicant, meaning there are no ulterior motives behind his or her applying for visitation rights
  • If the parents are divorced or separated, the time-sharing arrangement which exists between the parents regarding the child
  • Any history or indication that the applicant may pose a danger to the child
  • Any other factor relevant to the court

How Can I Begin the Process?

If you would like to request a visitation order, you should reach out to an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible in order to get started.

If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights, contact our firm today. We are here to advocate for you and walk you through the process each step of the way.


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I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

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I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

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After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

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The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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