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Divorce can have serious impacts on the entire family, especially when children are involved. When a parent, grandparent, or another family member feels as though they have lost access to a child due to divorce, they may wonder what their legal options are. In the state of New York, certain family members may be able to request child visitation through the court.

Can any family member request an order for visitation?

The state of New York will not grant just any family member the right to have visitation with the child in question. The only person who can file a petition seeking an order for visitation includes the following family members:

  • The child’s parent
  • The child’s grandparent
  • The child’s sibling
  • The child’s step-sibling

Unfortunately, other family members such as stepparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins will not be awarded visitation rights by the state of New York, no matter how close the relationship is.

Child Visitation for Noncustodial Parents

Child custody is one of the most complicated matters in a divorce. The court is always going to act in the best interest of the child. While New York state always wants to allow a child in a divorce to have a meaningful relationship with both of his or her parents after a divorce, sometimes, a sole custody award is necessary. If the court determines that one of the parents is “unfit” to parent, they may lose physical and legal custody. The other parent will be granted sole custody in this situation. That being said, the noncustodial parent may have the opportunity to request child visitation from the court. When a noncustodial parent is granted visitation rights, they will have the opportunity to work on trying to become a better parent. At some point, if the noncustodial parent can improve on the matters that caused them to lose custody, they may be able to request that the court revisits the custody agreement and reconsiders.

If you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, or stepsibling in New York that would like to request an order for visitation through the court, it is important that you consult with an experienced family law attorney. Contact our firm today.

Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.