Few things are more rewarding than raising good kids. As you age, though, you may look forward to becoming a grandparent. After all, the grandparent-grandchild relationship is often one of the most dynamic ones in society. In fact, a recent study found fewer incidents of depression in both grandparents and grandchildren who had a close relationship. If you cannot see your grandkids, you may miss out on the experience altogether. 

In New York, both biological and adoptive grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights. As you may suspect, though, asserting your grandparental rights is not necessarily easy. Still, if any of the following apply to you, petitioning the court for visitation rights may be your best option: 

1. You worry about the best interests of your grandchildren 

New York family courts always consider what is best for children when determining custody and visitation. While you must have legal standing to request visitation, doing so may be an effective way to ensure your grandchildren have what they need to grow into successful adults. 

2. Your child refuses to allow you to see your grandchildren 

Familial relationships can be challenging. Under ideal circumstances, you have free access to your grandchildren. If your child or his or her spouse refuses to let you see your grandchildren, you may feel powerless. That is not necessarily true, though. By asking a court for visitation rights, you have a legal framework for seeing your grandchildren. 

3. Your grandchildren have been living with you 

Parents are not always available to care for their children. If you have stepped into the shoes of your son or daughter to care for your grandchildren, you likely have created a stable environment. Nonetheless, if your grandchildren’s parents attempt to remove them from your custody, you may need a court order to continue seeing your grandkids. 

As a grandparent, you want to have a positive effect on your grandkids. If you think your relationship is in jeopardy, asking a court to intervene may be necessary. Alternatively, you may be able to negotiate a visitation schedule with the parents of your grandchildren. Either way, you must understand your legal options to know how to protect your grandparental rights.