Do Grandma and Grandpa Have any Rights to Visitation in New York?
Divorce affects all who are touched by it and grandparents are among those likely to be injured. Grandparents are often left out in the cold in terms of custody and visitation. While many jurisdictions are slowly granting grandparents rights to see their grandchildren, New York is far from being on the cutting edge in this area. Nonetheless, New York does have a statute that deals with the rights of grandparents in certain situations. This issue is ripe for exploration and for setting positive precedents for the grandparents of the state.
Grandparents are up against a public policy of allowing parents to raise their children free from intervention by those they choose to exclude. When one or both of the parents is deceased, grandparents have a stronger position in claiming rights to visitation being in the best interests of the grandchild.
If the parents are alive, grandparents face more difficulty in winning rights to visitation. Grandparents who wish to seek court ordered rights need to establish a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren. If they are not allowed to see grandchildren, they should keep a detailed record of their attempts to contact them. Birthday cards, phone calls and other attempts at contact can help in this type of battle.
A skilled family law attorney can assist grandparents who wish to pursue their rights to visitation.