Carton & Rosoff PC-Attorney at Law

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Grandparents rights for visitation and custody of grandchildren

Family dynamics vary from family to family in New York. Sometimes two parents are married and raise their children together, sometimes parents are not married, but still raise their children together. Other times parents are not together or are divorced and have child custody arrangements. Sometimes a single parent raises the child because the other parent has passed away or was never in the child's life. Other times grandparents or other relatives raise the children because both parents are unable or unwilling to do so.

Biological mothers generally automatically have custody of their children when they are born and fathers usually gain custody either because they are married at the time the child is born or have paternity and custody established at a later time. These two are the most common custody arrangements but, as stated above, biological parents do not always end up raising their children by themselves. Sometimes grandparents play a big role in the upbringing of the children.

However, this does not give the grandparents any custody or visitation rights. Grandparents can petition for both visitation and custody rights under certain circumstances though. If one or both of the child's parents have passed away, a grandparent can ask for visitation with the child from the person who is caring for the child, if it is in the child's best interest. Grandparents can also seek custody of a child if there are extraordinary circumstances present. While extraordinary circumstances are not specifically defined, if a grandparent has the child in their care for an extended period of time without the parent present, it could be an extraordinary circumstance.

There are many children in New York with good relationships with their grandparents. Therefore, it can be important for the children to continue to see their grandchildren even if the parent of the child passes away. In other situations, grandparents essentially raise their grandchildren and, in those situations, grandparents can even obtain custody of their grandchildren. These are complicated matters though and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through it.

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Carton & Rosoff PC
150 Grand Street, Suite 305
White Plains, NY 10601

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