Child Custody

How to File for Grandparent Rights?

Last updated on September 18, 2023

Grandparents can play a significant role in a child’s life, providing love, support, and guidance. Grandparents in New York have legal rights that protect their bond with their grandchildren. Being denied access to their grandchildren can put some grandparents in a difficult position. If you are a grandparent who is facing challenges in maintaining contact with your grandchild, it is important to seek the guidance of experienced New York grandparents’ rights attorneys.

At the New York Family Law Group, our attorneys understand the complexities of grandparents’ rights cases and may be able to provide legal advice to help you navigate the legal process. It is common for disputes to arise when determining child custody, so it is important to have skilled legal representation.

If you are considering filing for grandparents’ rights or have any related questions, experienced Manhattan grandparents’ rights attorneys at New York Family Law Group can provide assistance. To schedule a consultation, contact us at (347) 212-5113.

Understanding Grandparent Rights in New York

If you are a grandparent, you might be curious about your legal entitlement to custody or visitation rights with your grandchild. In New York, biological or adoptive grandparents can ask the court to grant them the right to visit their grandchildren in some situations.

If one or both parents have died, grandparents may be able to request court-ordered visitation. Grandparents who have a significant pre-existing relationship with their grandchildren can also ask for visitation. Additionally, grandparents can seek visitation if the child’s parents have prevented them from building or keeping a functional relationship with their grandchildren.

It is important to note that great-grandparents or other relatives do not have the same legal rights as biological or adoptive grandparents. If the court grants visitation rights to grandparents, the visitation rights will typically be exercised during specific times and under specific conditions. The conditions of the case will be determined by the court based on its specific circumstances. Additionally, the court will always prioritize the child’s best interests when considering the grandparents’ visitation requests.

If you are a grandparent in New York seeking visitation rights or custody of your grandchild, contact the New York Family Law Group today to discuss your legal options. Our experienced attorneys may be able to provide you with the legal guidance and support you need to protect your relationship with your grandchild and achieve a positive outcome in your case.

New Law for Grandparents’ Rights

Grandparents play a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren, but if this connection is disrupted due to a parent’s death or conflicts within the family, the legal rights of grandparents can become a subject of examination. In the state of New York, the legal rights of grandparents to obtain visitation or custody of their grandchildren are subject to limitations.

According to New York’s Domestic Relations Law §72, grandparents possess the privilege to request visitation rights concerning their grandchildren under specific conditions. These circumstances include instances where one or both of the child’s parents have passed away, or if there is a conflict in the relationship between the grandparent and the child’s parents. Nevertheless, the grandparent must also substantiate that granting visitation is in the child’s paramount interest. The court will evaluate an array of factors to arrive at this decision. Essentially, the law aims to strike a balance between the grandparents’ rights and the child’s ultimate welfare.

If you’re a grandparent seeking to uphold your visitation or custody rights, a Manhattan grandparents’ rights attorney can provide invaluable assistance. At New York Family Law Group, our attorneys can guide you through this legal landscape, ensuring your rights are protected and your family’s well-being is maintained. Contact us to advocate for your rights and the best interests of your grandchildren.

The Role of Court Proceedings in Seeking Visitation

One common question that may arise for grandparents seeking visitation rights in New York is whether going to court is necessary to achieve their goal. The answer is that it depends. If a grandparent is unable to see their grandchild due to the parent(s) preventing it or if they are trying to form a relationship with the child that didn’t previously exist, they may need to go to court to get visitation rights. However, grandparents may be able to establish visitation outside of court in some cases.

Grandparents can request visitation rights for their grandchildren in certain situations, such as the death of one or both parents or when there are exceptional circumstances. According to New York Domestic Relations Law § 72, grandparents can request visitation rights by submitting an application to either the family court or state Supreme Court. However, the court will consider the best interests of the child first, which includes taking into account the parent’s preferences, their reasons for objecting to the relationship, and their authority to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.

Grandparents in New York have the right to file for visitation rights if there has been a change in the legal relationship of the child’s parents due to a divorce, separation, or annulment. The court will examine the circumstances and what would cause the least disruption in the child’s life in these cases to determine whether visitation is appropriate.

Seeking legal counsel from experienced grandparents’ rights attorneys is recommended if you want to establish visitation rights with your grandchild in New York, even if reaching an agreement outside of court may be possible. Our team of New York grandparents’ rights attorneys can provide you with consultation, legal guidance, and representation. We can help you navigate the legal process and will work with you to protect your rights while ensuring the child’s best interests are taken into account. Contact New York Family Law Group today at (347) 212-5113 to schedule a consultation. 

What to Do When the Custodial Parent Objects

In New York, grandparents can request visitation rights in family court, but the court will only grant the request if it is determined to be in the best interests of the child. While the court recognizes the value of a grandparent-grandchild relationship, a parent’s objection carries significant weight in the decision-making process. It is worth noting that the law doesn’t guarantee grandparents’ visitation rights; rather, grandparents are allowed to ask the court for visitation because the state acknowledges the importance of these relationships in a child’s life.

To pursue visitation rights for their grandchild in New York, a grandparent must convince the court that they have a meaningful relationship with the child and that allowing visitation would be in the child’s best interest. If the custodial parent is against the grandparent’s visitation, the burden of proof is on the grandparent to demonstrate these factors to the court. The grandparent must provide evidence supporting their claims, such as photographs, videos, letters, or any other documentation showing the grandparent’s relationship with the child.

When deciding on granting grandparents visitation rights, the court takes into account various factors. These factors include the age and health of the child, the child’s overall well-being, and the nature of the relationship between the grandparent and the child. Additionally, the court evaluates the reasons why the custodial parent opposes the visitation and any other relevant information. The court may deny the request for visitation rights to grandparents if it determines that it would not be in the child’s best interests. It is important to have an experienced New York grandparents’ rights attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you present a compelling case to the court.

If you are a grandparent who wants to petition the court for visitation rights or is facing opposition from the custodial parent, contact New York Family Law Group today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced New York grandparents’ rights attorneys.

Steps to File for Grandparent Rights in New York

To get visitation rights as a grandparent, you must submit a petition to the appropriate New York County court where your grandchild resides. The petition should outline the grounds for your request, including the nature of your relationship with the grandchild, the alleged interference with visitation, and the suggested visitation schedule. Once the petition is submitted, the court will notify all relevant parties, such as the child’s parents and any other individuals who have sought custody. In some cases, the court may choose to assign a lawyer to represent the child’s interests to guarantee that their opinion is taken into account.

Grandparents seeking visitation rights must demonstrate to the court that they have an existing relationship with the child, or that the parent/guardian has intentionally and improperly prevented one from being established. If one or both parents are deceased, the determination is automatically made under New York state law. Once legal grounds for visitation are established, grandparents must convince the court that it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with them.

It is worth noting that animosity between parents and grandparents often arises in court cases, but this alone is not enough to deny a request for court-ordered visitation. The court will take into account the parents’ preferences and weigh various factors, such as the family structure and the child’s everyday living situation.

If you are seeking to file a petition for visitation, it is essential to work with a qualified New York grandparents’ rights attorney who can guide you through the complex legal process. Contact the New York Family Law Group at (347) 212-5113 for a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

How to File for Grandparent Rights in New York Steps and Considerations
Submit Petition to County Court File a petition outlining your request for visitation rights in the appropriate New York county court where the grandchild resides.
Outline Grounds for Request Detail the nature of your relationship with the grandchild, alleged interference with visitation, and proposed visitation schedule in the petition.
Demonstrate Existing Relationship or Interference Prove to the court that you have an existing relationship with the child or that the parent/guardian has prevented such a relationship.
Consideration in Case of Deceased Parents If one or both parents are deceased, determination is automatically made under New York state law.
Establish Legal Grounds for Visitation Convince the court that visitation is in the child’s best interest after establishing legal grounds for visitation.
Court Considers Parents’ Preferences The court takes into account parents’ preferences, family structure, child’s living situation, and other factors.

Working with a New York Family Law Group Attorney

Filing for grandparents’ rights can be complex and emotionally challenging, especially if you are dealing with a difficult family situation. Working with an experienced New York Family Law Group attorney may be able to help you navigate the legal system and protect your relationship with your grandchild.

At the New York Family Law Group, our attorneys have years of experience helping grandparents assert their rights in family court. We aim to provide you with the support and guidance you need during the legal process. Our firm is knowledgeable about the complexity of grandparents’ rights law in New York. When you collaborate with us, our firm invests time in understanding your particular case and creating a customized plan to meet your needs. We work with our clients every step of the way, assisting and offering advice to ensure that they are able to make informed decisions about their cases.

Our law firm’s attorneys prioritize the best interests of our clients and their families. We recognize the emotional challenges that can arise from family disagreements and work diligently to help attain a favorable resolution that minimizes the impact on your daily routine.

If you are a grandparent seeking legal help in filing for grandparents’ rights, you can contact and schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers at the New York Family Law Group by calling (347) 212-5113.

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