Many people do not realize that a divorce can cause strained relationships amongst all members of the family, including grandparents. In some custody situations, grandparents will need to request a visitation order through the court in order to see their grandchildren. Read on to learn more about visitation orders in New York.
What rights do grandparents have?
Unfortunately, grandparents do not have many rights in the state of New York. This means that you do not have automatic visitation rights. Parents, grandparents, and siblings can request visitation rights. It is important to note that stepparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins cannot request an order for visitation. When making a decision about visitation, the court is focused on the child’s best interests. As a result, there are a number of factors that may be considered. Some of these factors 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
Obtaining visitation rights can be a difficult process. As a result, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney.
How can a grandparent obtain custody?
It is not often that a grandparent is awarded custody, but it does happen under certain circumstances. If both of the child’s parents are deemed unfit, a grandparent may be able to request custody. A parent may be deemed unfit for the following reasons:
- Substance abuse
- Refusal to co-parent
- Failure to follow court orders
If you have any questions or concerns about visitation or custody in New York, our firm is here to help. Reach out to speak with an experienced and dedicated attorney.
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Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.