Experienced and Understanding Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer in Manhattan, NY
Grandparents’ rights are a more recent idea and are still being established in the courts today, although the rights of a father or mother with relation to child custody and visitation have long been recognized by the courts across New York State.
Given the significant influence grandparents can have on a grandchild’s development and well-being, it is crucial that you consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney if you are considering obtaining visitation or custody of your grandchild. This will allow you to better understand your particular situation and determine the best course of action.
At Tully Rinckey PLLC, we have experience helping grandparents in New York City uphold their rights to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives. Our compassionate and experienced family law attorneys can help you with your petitions for visitation or prove your standing to secure custody of your grandchildren in unique situations.
Custody and Visitation Rights for Grandparents in New York
As long as they have the “standing,” grandparents in New York are legally allowed to ask a judge to award them custody or at least visiting privileges for their grandkids. Standing refers to the idea that a number of requirements must be met before a person may bring legal action. If one or both of the child’s parents have passed away, or other unusual circumstances warrant the court’s decision to intervene and hear the case, the grandparent has the standing to pursue visitation or custody.
How Are Grandparents’ Visitation Rights Cases Proven in New York?
When it comes to allowing grandparents visitation access, the laws in New York are complex. When filing a petition for visitation, grandparents must first demonstrate that they have a close relationship with their grandchildren and that the child’s parents are restricting that interaction.
The key question in these circumstances is whether or not granting visitation would be in the child’s best interests after this foundation has been established. When granting visitation, the courts may take the following into account:
- what the wishes of the grandchild are;
- the physical distance between the grandparents and the grandchild;
- the communication between the grandparents and the custodial parents; and
- the past and current relationship between the grandchild and the grandparents.
How are Grandparents’ Custody Rights Cases Proven?
You might need to seek custody of the grandchild if they are being cared for by an unfit parent or guardian, such as someone who is abusing or neglecting them. Legal issues in custody cases are their own, and disagreements with the grandchild’s biological parents can make grandparent custody rights extremely challenging.
In order to be eligible for custody in New York State, grandparents or non-parents must either have the parents’ consent or show that there are unique circumstances. These conditions may 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?
If the grandchild is adopted, the state of New York does not restrict grandparent visitation privileges. 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.