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Your Family Matters

Can grandparents petition for visitation in New York?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2022 | Family Law

The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is precious and important. In many cases, grandparents not only provide love but emotional and financial support as well.

Sometimes a divorce can overlook grandparents’ rights. If your son or daughter’s divorce has resulted in your seeing your grandchildren less than you would like, you can petition the court for formal visitation rights.

What are the requirements to be able to file for visitation?

The state of New York will grant visitation to biological and adoptive grandparents, as long as they find that the visitation order is in the best interest of the child.

Before filing, the grandparent should be able to prove that:

  • The pre-existing relationship with their grandchild was substantial and positive
  • The children’s parents are preventing regular visits

What else will the court consider?

Once you establish a positive relationship, the court will consider other factors:

  • The child’s age and wishes
  • The distance between the grandchild’s home and visits with the grandparents
  • The health and well-being of everyone involved
  • The relationship between the custodial parent and the grandparents

Can a grandparent file for full custody?

In New York state, grandparents who wish to file for custody of their grandchildren must either have the consent of the parents or prove that there are extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances may include:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Child abandonment
  • Disruptions of custody for extended periods

Grandparents are an important part of their grandchildren’s lives, and that relationship deserves support and protection. Filing for court-ordered visitation can assure both you and your grandchild that your relationship will continue despite the divorce.