What Are Grandparents' Rights?
Rights are given to grandparents to pursue visitation or custody rights over their grandchildren. This is not necessarily an easy process and there are specific requirements. New York law allows for visitation by grandparents if at least one parent of their grandchildren is deceased. Grandparents may petition the courts for
visitation rights even if the parent objects, just as long as the parents' rights are not violated.
Custody may be granted to the grandparents if certain circumstances reveal that it would prove beneficial to intervene in the life of the child. There may be issues of neglect or abuse, living conditions that do not adequately support the child or the child is in some form of danger by living with their parents. The laws in New York have become somewhat complicated regarding grandparents' rights and it is highly recommended that you obtain a qualified lawyer to help you decipher these issues.
Maintaining the Child's Best Interests
The welfare of the child or children involved is the court's first priority. Any decision concerning a grandparent's rights case must be in the best interests of the child. Factors that determine the best interests of the child include the following:
- Child's basic physical and emotional needs are taken care of, as well as their safety and welfare
- Grandparents' abilities to take care of the child
- Parents' and grandparents' wishes, as well as any preference the child may have if they are old enough to think for themselves
- Grandchildren have strong relationship with grandparents
- No evidence of neglect, domestic violence or substance abuse by grandparents
- Maintaining connection to neighborhood, culture, school and other family
The court will not create a grandparent-grandchild relationship where none has previously existed. Each matter concerning this issue is decided by the court on a case-by-case basis. It is always in your best interests to seek the professional legal services of a lawyer who is experienced and highly-knowledgeable in the area you are concerned with. That is why it is strongly suggested that you discuss your legal matter with Attorney Lynn Poster-Zimmerman as soon as possible.
Legal Guidance for Over Two Decades
Grandparents' rights under New York law are not easy to understand. If you are a grandparent who needs legal assistance concerning your rights pertaining to your grandchildren, it is important to consult with a caring and dedicated lawyer. Attorney Poster-Zimmerman has been practicing family law since 1983 and can provide the legal counsel and representation you need in an issue involving your rights as a grandparent. She has an abundance of knowledge and experience to apply to your case and can help you make informed decisions about your legal options.