Establishing Grandparent Rights

Long Island Family Law Attorneys

Child visitation rights do not only extend to parents. The grandparents of children may have visitation rights as well. In many cases, the grandparents' role in the child's life is crucial. Grandparents provide grandchildren with love, support, nurturing, and stability. New York courts recognize the bond grandparents can have with their grandchildren and may act to preserve an existing bond by granting grandparents visitation rights under certain circumstances (such as death of a parent or unjustified termination of a close relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren). In certain cases, grandparents may be granted custody of their grandchildren. In these cases, the child's parents must be proven unfit, negligent, or incapable of providing satisfactory care.

Grandparent Rights and Child Custody

If the court feels that a child's parents are incapable of providing adequate care or that they are negligent or unfit, the court may award custody to the child's grandparents. As with all child custody cases, the court will take into consideration the best interests of the child. The court will also review several factors before awarding a grandparent custody. These factors may include:

  • The child's age, health, preference (after a certain age), and current way of life
  • The grandparent's health, lifestyle, finances, and ability to provide for the child's needs
  • The emotional bond between the child and the grandparent

After carefully reviewing these factors, the court may decide to grant the grandparent custody.

Contact a Long Island grandparents' rights attorney at our firm to learn more about your rights and legal options as a grandparent. We offer free case evaluations to all prospective clients.