Grandparents are crucial in the lives of their grandchildren. Grandparents frequently provide their grandchildren with important childcare and financial help, in addition to emotional support.
Grandparents’ rights should be upheld when it comes to having access to their grandkids particularly if they play a significant role in their lives. Unfortunately, grandparents frequently have to battle for their visitation rights if the child’s parents divorce, were never married or if one parent is deceased.
Experienced and Understanding Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer in Albany, NY
While the rights of the father and mother with regard to child custody have long been upheld by the courts throughout New York State, grandparents’ rights are a more modern concept and are still being solidified in the courts to this day.
Considering the major impact that a grandparent can have on a grandchild’s well-being and growth, it is important that if you are seeking visitation or even custody of your grandchild, that you speak with an experienced family law attorney so that you can have your unique situation understood, analyzed, and learn your rights and the best path to moving forward.
At Tully Rinckey PLLC, we have experience helping grandparents assert, obtain and enforce their rights to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives. Our compassionate and experienced family law attorneys can help you understand the law, and where viable, prepare your petition for visitation and/or in some cases, even assert and prove your standing to obtain custody of your grandchildren.
Custody and Visitation Rights for Grandparents
In New York, grandparents have the legal right to seek visitation rights with their grandchildren if they meet and can prove that they have legal standing. In some cases, a Grandparent’s standing may even entitle them to seek custody. Standing is a legal concept that requires certain conditions to be satisfied before a person may have their petition heard by a judge. If one or both of the child’s parents have passed away, or other elements are satisfied, that could warrant the court’s decision to intervene and hear the case, thus granting the grandparent standing to pursue visitation or custody.
How Are Grandparent Visitation Rights Cases Proven?
The legal requirements in New York are complicated when it comes to granting grandparents and other non-parent family members visiting privileges. In order to file a petition for visitation, grandparents must be able to allege that their relationship with their grandchildren is substantial and that the parent(s) of the child is unreasonably restricting their relationship with their grandchildren.
After establishing this ground comes the crux of these cases, which is whether or not such visitation would be in the best interests of the child to grant, even if requested over the objection of the parents. A few factors the courts might consider when granting visitation are:
the wishes of the child depending on their age and maturity;
the distance between the grandparents and grandchild’s house;
the past and current relationship between the grandchild and their grandparents;
the communication between the custodial parents and the grandparents;
the reason why the parents do not wish to allow visitation; and
the well-being and health of each party involved including any past criminal record; orders of protection or other matters of possible domestic violence.
How are Grandparent Custody Rights Cases Proven?
When the grandchild is being looked after by an unfit parent or guardian, such as one who is neglecting or abusing the child, a grandparent can apply for custody. Custody proceedings have their own set of legal complexities, and disputes with the grandchild’s parents can make granting a grandparent custody particularly difficult. Essentially the parent(s) would have to be found unfit and extraordinary circumstances established to transfer custody from a biological parent to a grandparent.
In New York State, grandparents must either obtain the parents’ approval or demonstrate the presence of extraordinary circumstances in order to prevail on a petition for custody. These circumstances can include:
matters of child abuse and neglect;
abandonment of the child; or
issues of addiction that interfere with a parent’s ability to care for the child.
What if the Child has Been Adopted?
The child’s best interests will always come first in court, regardless of whether the adoption was finalized or not. This is also true in matters of securing custody as well.
Our Albany Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys are Available to Assist You Today
When something as important as your connection with your grandchild is at stake, you want to give yourself every advantage possible to secure your legal rights. Our family law attorneys have helped numerous grandparents throughout the Capital Region to maintain their familial bonds and stay in contact with their grandchildren. If you are considering filing a petition for visitation or securing custody of your grandchildren, call us today.
To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book your consultation online via the link below.
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