Grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives. However, when couples dissolve their marriage or a parent dies, it can upend that relationship. Many grandparents wonder whether they have the right to request court-ordered visitation time. Fortunately, under certain circumstances, grandparents hold visitation rights. Nevertheless, despite their visitation rights, they will be burdened with proving that they should be granted visitation as it is in the child’s best interests. If you believe that you are being unfairly denied the ability to spend time with your grandchildren, it is in your best interest to contact a trusted Nassau County Family Lawyer who can help you obtain court-ordered visitation with your grandchildren. Please continue reading to learn more about grandparent visitation in New York. 

Do I have a legal right to grandparent visitation in New York?

In New York, as a grandparent, you have the legal right to request reasonable court-ordered visitation. However, it is critical to note that this right only applies to biological or adoptive grandparents. Moreover, grandparents only hold this right if one or both of their grandchildren’s parents have died, there is a substantial existing relationship, or the child’s parents have prevented them from establishing or maintaining a relationship with their grandchildren. Although you can request court-ordered visitation as a grandparent, that does not guarantee that the court will award you visitation. The court will require you to prove that you have a legal right to court-ordered visitation and that the proposed visits are in your grandchildren’s best interests.

What does the court take into consideration?

In court, you must establish that you have legal grounds. If one or both of your grandchildren’s parents have died, you will automatically have proven grounds for visitation. However, if your grandchildren’s parents are living, you must demonstrate an existing relationship or show that the child’s parents have interfered with your efforts to establish a relationship. The court will consider parental preference when determining whether to grant grandparent visitation, as it recognizes that parents have the right to decide how their children spend their time. Nevertheless, the court will not deny a request based on the parent’s objections alone. For your request for court-ordered time to be granted, you must demonstrate to the court that spending time with you is in your grandchildren’s best interests. If denied, it would negatively impact the child’s overall well-being as you have a substantial relationship. The court will consider the following factors to determine the child’s best interests:

  • The child’s age and health
  • The child’s preference (if mature enough to express their wishes)
  • Grandparents’ past and current relationship with the child’s parents
  • The mental and physical health of all involved parties
  • The distance between the child’s home and the location of your proposed visits

If you can prove that court-ordered visitation is in your grandchildren’s best interests, the court will likely grant your request. If you seek visitation as a grandparent, contact a determined Nassau County family lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C. today. Our firm is committed to helping our clients prove that granting them court-ordered visitation is in a child’s best interest.