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Key points about grandparents' rights to visitation in New York

In New York, when there is a visitation dispute, it generally focuses on the parents, who will have custody, and what the other parent's visitation schedule will be. In some cases, however, grandparents' rights come to the forefront. When grandparents want the legal right to see their grandchildren, there are certain factors that will be considered as part of the case. When moving forward in seeking those visitation rights, the grandparents should understand these factors and have legal help to meet their goals.

The following criteria will be considered by the court when it decides if grandparents can receive visitation rights: if there is a legal standing in the case; if it will hear the case; and if the child's best interests will be served by having visitation with the grandparents. There are no visitation rights for step-grandparents or great grandparents in New York. For grandparents to receive permission to see grandchildren, the court must have proof that there is legal standing for the grandparent to seek visitation rights.

Legal standing is when the court determines there is a legal interest for the grandparent to take part in the court case. The grandparent will have this standing or be allowed to request visitation if one or both parents of the child are deceased; or if the court determines that it is necessary to take part in the case because there are special circumstances.

It is unfortunate when families break apart and there is a divorce. Not only does it impact the lives of the spouses and their children, but grandparents as well. When grandparents want visitation with a grandchild, it can lead to an emotional dispute as to whether it will be granted. While not all cases will result in the grandparents getting visitation, if the requirements are met, this can be ordered. To ensure that the case has a solid chance of being heard in court and the grandparents' rights resulting in visitation, having legal assistance from a law firm that represents people in custody and visitation cases is imperative.

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