Does being a grandparent mean that you have rights to visit with your grandchild? You actually do have some options if you want to secure visitation rights of your own. A Suffolk County child visitation lawyer can help you build a case and navigate the legal process.
Who Can Petition For Visitation Rights?
In New York, some family members can go to court and try to secure an Order of Visitation. As the name implies, this would allow them to visit with the child and build a relationship with them. Who can ask for an Order of Visitation is extremely limited though. As of right now, the only family members who can request one are:
- A non-custodial parent
- Siblings of the child
- A grandparent of the child
So if grandparents do not get to see their grandchildren normally, they could have a chance to build a relationship with their grandchild if they go through the courts.
When Do Grandparents Have the Chance to Ask For Visitation Rights?
It is important to note that while grandparents do have the legal right to ask for court-ordered visitation, they can usually only do so under certain circumstances. They have a right to ask for visitation if:
- One or both parents have passed away
- They have an existing, important relationship with their grandchildren already
- They believe that the child’s parent or parents interfere with their ability to form or keep a relationship going with their grandchildren
When one or more of these things are true, the grandparents can go to court and attempt to secure visitation rights.
What Do Grandparents Need to Show in Court?
When a grandparent petitions for visitation rights, the burden of proof is on them. They need to show that they should have a right to visit their grandchild and that the relationship would be a good one for the child to establish and maintain. Factors that might be considered when you ask for visitation include:
- The age of your grandchild
- Whether or not there was an existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild
- How close the grandparent and grandchild live to each other
- Whether the relationship will be beneficial for the child
- Whether or not the grandchild has a preference and they are old enough to express it
The court’s primary goal is to make a ruling that best suits the interests of the child. If you cannot show that spending time with you would be beneficial for them, it can be nearly impossible to secure visitation rights. So get ready to make your best case for visitation, and consider hiring an experienced family law attorney who can help you strengthen your arguments.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are ready to fight for visitation rights, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. We can schedule a consultation and take a closer look at your situation. From there, we can begin building your case and exploring all of your legal options.