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Grandparents' Visitation and Custody Rights

In certain cases, a child's grandparents can be granted visitation rights or custody. Different states have different statutes regarding grandparent visitation and custody, but the primary factor in determining either is typically what is in the best interest of the child.

New York Laws on Grandparent Visitation

Every state has its own laws on whether grandparents or other non-relatives can have access to their grandchildren. In New York, grandparents may be granted visitation rights if they can demonstrate that the relationship is substantial and in the best interests of the child.

When determining the child's best interest, courts will typically consider the following factors:

  • The physical and emotional needs of the child, the child's safety and welfare
  • The ability of the parents and grandparents to meet the child's needs
  • The wishes of the parents, grandparents, and the child if the child is old enough
  • The strength and length of the child's relationship with the grandparents
  • Any evidence of abuse by the parents or grandparent
  • The child's ability to adjust to a new home, school, etc.
  • The ability of the parents and grandparents to provide love, affection, and meaningful contact with the child

To seek visitation or custody of a grandchild, you must file a petition with the court and show explain reasons for requesting custody.

Protecting the Rights of Grandparents in Nassau & Suffolk Counties

Grandparent rights can be a complicated issue, especially if the parents are not on good terms with child's grandparents. If you have questions about grandparental rights in the state of New York, contact a Long Island family lawyer today.