As a grandparent, you play an indispensable role in your grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents often assume the responsibility of raising their grandchildren, imparting values, and providing support during family conflicts. However, rifts between parents can cause respective grandparents to become entangled in the conflicts, resulting in losing a relationship with their grandchildren. In such cases, when a positive relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild has been wrongly denied, and attempts to resolve the issue amicably fail, there are available options that may help you preserve your relationship with your grandchildren. Please continue reading to learn how grandparents can obtain visitation rights in New York and how a determined Rockland County Child Visitation Attorney can help guide you through each phase of this complex process. 

Do grandparents have visitation rights in New York?

In New York, certain extended family members are granted legal rights about visitation as custody arrangements impact entire families. Specifically, grandparents are afforded visitation rights in instances where a hostile custodial parent has denied them from having a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren. To obtain grandparent visitation rights, you must file a petition with the court. However, the request alone is not enough for the court to grant access to the child and, sadly, is not a guarantee that you will be reunited. Nevertheless, it provides you with the opportunity to prove that granting you visitation rights would be in the best interests of a child.

When determining whether to grant parents, grandparents, or other extended family members visitation rights, the court’s primary concern is ensuring that they preserve the child’s best interests as they aim to safeguard their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. That said, grandparents will be required to establish that withholding access to the child and not providing the child with the positive, loving relationship that they have become accustomed to would cause them significant harm. Essentially, they must prove a pre-existing relationship and that granting them visitation rights is best for the child. The court will consider the following factors when determining whether to grant visitation rights:

  • The prior relationship between the child and the grandparent
  • The relationship between the child’s parents and the grandparents
  • The time since the child has last had contact with their grandparents
  • The effect the proposed visitation would have on the relationship between the child and their parents
  • If the parents are divorced, the visitation or custody agreement that exists between the parents
  • The good faith of the petition
  • Any history of abuse or neglect
  • Any other relevant factors

Unfortunately, grandparents do not always have enforceable legal rights to see their grandchildren. As such, you should enlist the help of a trusted Rockland County child visitation attorney who can help you fight to preserve your relationship with your grandchildren. At The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC, we are prepared to help you fulfill the burden of proof to demonstrate that being granted visitation would be in your grandchildren’s best interests.