Can grandparents receive visitation rights in New York?

Posted by Lauren S. CohenAug 11, 20140 Comments

Child custody and visitation disputes can arise in all different sorts of contexts. When one thinks of such disputes, one probably thinks of battles between recently divorced or separated parents. However, parents are not the only ones who may find themselves fighting for the right to spend time with a child, so too may a child's grandparents.

Grandparents can form a truly special type of bond with their grandchildren, and this bond can be a major part of both a grandparent's life and a grandchild's life. Sadly, sometimes, in the turmoil following events such as a divorce of a child's parents, a grandparent will suddenly find their ability to spend time with and continue to strengthen the bond with their grandchild impeded, perhaps in the form of one of the child's parents trying to block access to the child.

What can a New York grandparent do in such a situation? One option they may have is to take legal action requesting to be granted visitation rights in regards to their grandchild. Under New York law, courts have the discretion to grant a child's grandparents (whether they be paternal or maternal grandparents) reasonable visitation rights. As is the case with most matters regarding child visitation, one of the main things a court will consider when deciding whether or not to give a grandparent visitation rights is the best interests of the involved child.

Family law attorneys can help grandparents who are being blocked from being with a grandchild figure out if filing a visitation rights request to a court is the right choice for them. If a grandparent does ultimately decide to file such a request, such attorneys can also help them build their case as to why the granting of visitation rights is in the best interests of the involved grandchild.