Experienced and Understanding Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer in Syracuse, NY

Are you worried about how your connection with your grandkids may be impacted by a divorce, a separation, or the passing of a parent? The grandparent-grandchild connection may be impacted by these significant changes in the family, particularly if the custodial or surviving parent tries to limit your time together.

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, our Syracuse family lawyers have experience helping grandparents secure their place in the grandchildren’s lives. Our empathetic and knowledgeable family law attorneys may assist you with your petitions for visitation or demonstrate your eligibility to get custody of your grandkids in certain circumstances.

Grandparents’ Custody and Visitation Rights

In New York, the legal system acknowledges that parents have a basic right to raise their children however they see fit. This includes choosing who is permitted to see their children. As a result, a New York court would only allow grandparents visiting privileges if doing so would be in the best interests of the child.

Grandparents may request visiting privileges in some states. In contrast, New York State’s restrictions on grandparent visiting are rather onerous. In New York, grandparents may ask the court for visiting rights if one or both parents have passed away. Another situation would be if the grandparents can demonstrate a close relationship with the child and that their relationship is substantial.

What Elements may a New York Court Take into Account While Deciding on Grandparents’ Visitation Rights?

Particularly in New York, the natural grandparents’ requests for visitation rights are the only ones that the courts will take into account. This means that the only grandparents who may ask for visitation rights are biological or adopted. Great grandparents and other family members like aunts and uncles are not covered by this request right.

Further, the “burden of proof” is on the grandparent who is asking for visiting privileges to demonstrate that their request is truly in the child’s best interests. The court in New York will consider a variety of circumstances while deciding grandparents’ rights, including:

  • 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.

What Elements may a New York Court Take into Account While Deciding on Grandparents’ Custody Rights?

As between a parent and grandparent, it is well-established in law that the parent has a superior right to custody. This right cannot be denied unless the grandparent can prove that the parent has given up that right due to abandonment, persisting neglect, unfitness, or other extraordinary circumstances.

The grandparents may proceed with their request for custody if the court determines that the grandparent requesting custody has established that one of the aforementioned conditions exists, so establishing “standing.” The court will next decide whether it would be in the child’s best interests to grant the grandparents custody or visitation privileges.

What is in a child’s best interest is not predetermined. Instead, each unique situation entails a thorough, independent examination that is objective and takes into account a variety of variables, including the child’s wishes and any prior relationships the child may have had with their grandparents.

Do Grandparents’ Rights Change if the Child is Adopted?

The state of New York does not restrict grandparent visitation rights if the grandchild is adopted. Regardless of whether the adoption was legally completed or not, the child’s best interests will always take precedence in court. This is true for issues about obtaining custody as well.

Our Syracuse Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys are Available to Assist You Today

A child’s special relationship with his or her grandparents should be maintained. There are specific situations in which a grandparent or grandparent(s) will be granted custody of their grandchild or where the court may provide visitation when the child’s parents are contesting this. Our family law attorneys have helped many grandparents throughout the Syracuse area 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 info@tullylegal.com. You can also book your consultation online via the link below.

You can also use our secure Live Chat feature to connect with us regarding your matter. You will be connected with a member of our client relations team ready to assist you.


When you choose Tully Rinckey PLLC, you aren’t just assigned an attorney. Your legal matter will be cared for by our entire legal team and support staff. With offices throughout the United States, we make sure you receive legal counsel and representation you can trust.

Commitment to Our Clients

Our team-oriented philosophy encourages open and ongoing communication with every attorney, paralegal, and other support staff working with each client ensures we understand their goals. Our commitment to you means meeting your objectives, working attentively and persistently toward your success, and efficiently adjusting to your changing needs.

Full Service Legal Firm

Tully Rinckey is a full-service law firm. We handle legal issues relating to appellate law, litigation, bankruptcy, international and U.S.-based business law, family and matrimonial law, military and federal employment law, intellectual property law, and much more. We also offer a variety of services, including estate planning, security clearance representation, and congressional investigations. Regardless of your legal needs, we have the experienced counsel you need.

Our Process

Our client-centered process is all about communication. During consultations, we teach clients about legal challenges they face and explain options available from their current position. Our attorneys explain how we resolve legal issues for the best possible outcome. We define what the expectations are, create manageable deadlines, and discover evidence to support claims.

Our Personal Process

Contact us

Contact us to discuss your needs with a client representative and schedule a consultation with an attorney.


Your time with your attorney is important. Please use this guide to get the most out of your initial consultation.

Meet your attorney

We discuss your specific legal goals and gain important information from you to help us understand your unique situation.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Get Started