What to Do if You’re Denied Visitation of Your Grandchildren
Every state in the nation has some form of grandparent visitation law on its books, allowing grandparents to seek the legal right to spend time with their grandchildren if certain conditions exist.
In New York, grandparents are able to request this court-ordered visitation in any of the following circumstances:
- One or both of the child’s parents are dead
- The grandparent already has a substantial, existing relationship with the child or children
- The child’s parents have clearly interfered with the grandparent’s efforts to either establish or keep a relationship with the child(ren)
This right only applies to biological grandparents. It does not apply to great-grandparents, adoptive grandparents, step-grandparents or other more distant relations.
To succeed in court, the grandparent must establish legal grounds for the request and then prove that maintaining this relationship is in the child’s best interests. Keep in mind that judges will give quite a bit of weight to the preferences of the parents. Generally, parents have the right to determine who is allowed to see their children and spend time with them.
The process begins with the grandparent filing a petition for visitation. You may also be required to provide a proposed schedule for visitation and to notify all involved parties. When filing the petition, the grandparent must demonstrate that they have “standing” for visitation. If they fail to establish they have standing, the Court will not determine if they are entitled to visitation.
For more information about grandparent visitation rights and whether the facts in your case might allow you to obtain them, contact an experienced family attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.