Carton & Rosoff PC-Attorney at Law

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When can grandparents have visitation rights with grandchildren?

There are many different family dynamics in New York. People within a family have different relationships with different family members as well. Sometimes grandparents see their grandchildren sparingly, while others may help raise their grandchildren. However, no matter how often grandparents see their grandchildren, most want to have a relationship with them no matter the strength of the relationship they have with the parents.

How often the grandparents see the grandchildren is usually up to the parents. If parents want them to see the grandchildren they will see them more, if not then usually they see them less. Also, grandparents may have a different relationship with an in-law as opposed to their own child. So, the in-law may make it difficult for grandparents to see their grandchildren. This is especially true if one parent dies and the in-law is making all of the decisions.

In a situations like this, grandparents may be able to petition the court and seek visitation rights with their grandchildren over the objections of a parent. In order to be able to do this there are a couple of requirements that must be met first. One is that one or both of the parents of the grandchildren must have died or there are special circumstances present which necessitate court intervention. The other is that visitation with the grandchildren must be in their best interest.

Many grandparents in New York are not allowed to see their grandchildren as often as they would like for various reasons. However, in certain circumstances, they may be able to ask the court to grant them visitation. As the decision is ultimately based on what is in the best interests of the grandchildren, these are very fact specific cases and can be very complicated.

Source:, "Grandparenting - Visitation" accessed on Nov. 13, 2017

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