When a couple separates, it is not just the parents and child that are impacted. Other extended family members such as grandparents or aunts and uncles could be impacted by losing contact with the grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin, etc. In New York, extended family members have a right to petition for visitation if there is a “substantial” bond between the child and a family member. If a parent is denying you access to your grandchild or other family member, a family law attorney can help restore your contact with this child.
The court will seek to determine the best interest of the child in determining what visitation rights, if any, should be granted for grandparents. In these matters, however, a parent’s decision carries “special weight” and will be considered by the court if there is some specific reason the parent has denied contact for grandparents. If there are specific reasons a parent is denying visitation for a grandparent, the burden of proof falls to grandparent to rebut these accusations.
For instance, a parent may raise questions or concerns about a child’s safety around a set of grandparents. It will then be on the grandparents to prove that these concerns are unfounded or find ways to ensure the child’s safety during visitation. Simply denying the accusations will not be enough – the grandparent must present evidence that disproves an accusation against them.
In general, it is best for everyone involved to try to come to some sort of agreement on grandparent visitation. It may be possible for the parties to work out an agreement with a grandparents’ rights attorney to avoid a costly court battle that is difficult for the child. If no agreement can be reached, the matter will ultimately be litigated and the court will make a final determination as to the visitation for a grandparent.
At The Law Offices of Seidner & Associates, we have helped many grandparents and other non-parent relatives throughout Long Island and New York. We understand the nuances and complexities of this area of law and will do everything possible to see your matter through to a successful outcome. For a free consultation with a grandparents rights attorney, contact The Law Offices of Seidner & Associates right away.