Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?
The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be incredibly important and rewarding. Unfortunately, many grandparents are barred from seeing their grandchildren by circumstances outside of their control. Though working through those family issues on your own is the preferred course of action, there may come a time when you wish to get the courts involved. Before doing so, it's vital that you know whether or not grandparents actually have any sort of rights to visiting their grandchildren in New York.
When Could Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?
It's important to realize that while grandparents do have visitation rights in New York, those rights don't extend to everyone. In fact, there are only three times when visitation rights are granted by the court: when one or both parents die, when the grandparents already have a relationship with the grandchildren, or when the parents have substantially interfered with the grandparents' ability to form a relationship. Only biological and adoptive grandparents are considered for this type of visitation; great-grandparents and other relatives don't have the same rights.
Parental Preference and Visitation
Though visitation rights are automatic when one or both parents die, things become more complicated when the parents don't wish to have the grandparents visit. As with most issues involving children in New York, the grandparents have to show that their visits are in the best interest of the child.
There are a number of factors that can come into play when making this determination. Everything from the age of the children to any pre-existing relationships that you might have had with children. One of the biggest factors that will come into play is your current relationship with the parents. While grandparents do have important rights in the state of New York, those rights rarely supersede those of the parents. It is, however, a path that may be worth pursuing for those who truly wish to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.
If you are currently being prevented from visiting your grandchildren, you may be able to get a court order to do so. Though it's not possible in every situation, it is something that you might want to pursue. If your difficulty with family matters have reached the point of needing to involve a third party, it may be time for you to contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to get the help that you need.