While parents still have the main authority to determine who will be involved in their children’s lives, more and more states are recognizing the important role that extended family members play, especially grandparents. A family law attorney in Patchogue New York can explain the basis for when grandparents can request grandparent visitation and the process that the court uses. A family law attorney in Patchogue New York can also help advocate for the grandparent’s rights.
Grandparents have the right to request grandparent visitation in New York if one or both parents of the grandchild have died. Alternatively, grandparent visitation rights apply if the court determines that intervention would be proper due to extraordinary circumstances. If a grandparent petitions the court for grandparent visitation, the court determines whether visitation would be in the child’s best interest and whether the grandparent had a pre-existing relationship with the child before the petition was filed.
Even if a grandparent does not have a legal basis for visitation as described above or simply because he or she prefers a less contentious path, he or she may participate in mediation with the other party if the other party is willing to do so. Mediation is an alternative to litigation and provides a forum in which family members and others can discuss what they believe is best for the concerned child. They can often work out solutions that are better tailored to the situation than a standard court order.