When issues of family law or divorce come up, the discussion usually revolves around married couples, or at least parents and their children. Grandparents are often tangential to the discussion, unless the court is considering granting them custody as a result of the inability of both parents to care for their own children. However, even outside of those extreme circumstances, grandparents in New York have a right to visit their own grandchildren after their parents’ divorce.
Getting visitation or custody rights for grandparents in a divorce proceeding is like getting them for parents, although there can be some additional hurdles. Any nonparent (including any grandparent) who wishes to have visitation or custody over a child must petition the court and argue why it is in the best interests of the child to have that person in their lives. Their argument is then compared to the arguments of anyone who supports or opposes them, including the arguments of either parent or the wishes of the child. If, weighing these arguments, the court decides the grandparents should have the right to visit their grandchild, it can grant or restrict that right as it sees fit.
The reasons for seeking visitation rights for grandparents are manifold, starting with just wanting to be a part of a child’s life even after their parent’s divorce. An issue can arise if one or both parents wants to restrict access to their child by their grandparents, perhaps because they’re afraid the grandparents will be a bad influence on their child. Whatever the reason, though, you do have the right to petition the court for visitation, and if it’s granted, your grandchild’s parents can’t stop you from visiting them (provided you stick to whatever terms the court sets for those visits).
A divorce can be a difficult and challenging process, even if you’re not the one getting divorced. If you are looking to protect your rights in a divorce proceeding, whether yours or someone else’s, it may be beneficial to consult an experienced Long Island divorce and family law attorney to assist you. The skilled Long Island divorce attorneys at Larry McCord & Associates, LLC are highly knowledgeable in divorce matters and are ready to help. Please contact Larry McCord & Associates, LLC at (631) 643-3084 to schedule a consultation or learn more about the firm’s services.