You may have built a special relationship with your grandchild over the years. So you may be devastated at the thought that this relationship may be tarnished after their parents decide to get a divorce. Continue reading to learn what the visitation rights of a grandparent are and how an experienced New York City child visitation attorney at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you build a strong-enough argument.
What are the visitation rights of a grandparent in New York State?
Put simply, a grandparent is one of the few family members who hold the right to petition for the visitation rights of a child. With this, there is a formal process to be followed. First, a grandparent must file a formal written request with the court in the county in which their grandchild resides. Or, they may file with the court in the county in which the divorce proceedings are being held. In this request, a grandparent must offer a proposed schedule for their desired court-ordered visitation time.
A grandparent must inform every involved, especially their grandchild’s parents, that they are petitioning for visitation rights. They also must accept the very real possibility that their grandchild’s parents may very well ask the county court to revoke their visitation rights at any time and for any good cause.
What grounds for visitation rights can I claim?
Simply submitting a request with a proposed visitation schedule is not enough for a grandparent to be granted rights over their grandchild. Rather, they must cite their grounds for petitioning visitation rights. Examples include the following:
- A grandparent may petition that their grandchild will be physically, emotionally, or financially affected without maintaining regular contact.
- A grandparent may petition that they are physically, mentally, and financially capable of taking care of their grandchild.
- A grandparent may petition that they have consistently maintained a close relationship with their grandchild.
- A grandparent may petition that they have consistently maintained a healthy relationship with their grandchild’s parents.
In an extreme situation, a grandparent may have to prove that their grandchild may be in immediate danger if they are left under the custody of one or both of their parents. With this, a grandparent may have to cite the following grounds:
- A grandparent may petition that their grandchild has a strained relationship with one or both of their parents.
- A grandparent may petition that one or both of their grandchild’s parents are parentally unfit to raise them.
- A grandparent may petition that one or both of their grandchild’s parents have expressed their unwillingness to have the responsibility of custody rights or visitation rights.
The first step you must take in your fight for visitation rights is to make a phone call. Without further ado, pick up the phone and contact a skilled New York City divorce attorney from Zimmet Law Group, P.C. today.