The right of grandparents to apply for visitation with their grandchildren is governed by Domestic Relations Law 72(1). New York courts may grant visitation rights if one parent is deceased and the living parent is refusing to allow the parent or parents of the deceased parent to visit with the child or children, or in cases where both parents are living but one or both of the parents has become estranged from his or her own parents, the court may intervene on behalf of the grandparents.
Grandparent must establish standing:
In order for a grandparent to have standing to file in court for visitation, the courts will determine whether or not the grandparent has established a relationship with the child significant enough to justify court intervention and whether or not such visits are in the child’s best interests.
A Grandparent must rebut the presumption that a parent’s wishes are in the best interest of the child. To do so, the grandparent must show that the parent is withholding visits unreasonably.
To determine what is reasonable, the courts will consider:
- Care-giver skills of the grandparent and attitude of the grandparent toward child’s parent
- Law guardian assessment
- Child’s wishes
If parental objections to grandparent visitation have no bearing on the child’s best interests, then the court may impose visits with the child and the grandparent.
Ms. Daniels has successfully litigated matters of grandparents’ visitation and can assess the strength of your case before commencing litigation.