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Family dynamics can easily change. There are times when relationships become negative for many different reasons. The most challenging relationship can be between a parent and their adult child. When this relationship goes bad, the grandchildren could be involved. The adult child may not want to let their parents have a relationship with their children for a number of reasons. In the state of New York, grandparents do have certain legal rights.
There are many families in New York where couples break up, divorce or legally separate. This can impact more than the main family members. It can also affect where a child lives and who is permitted to see them. A grandparent(s) ability to see and be part of their grandchild’s life may change dramatically. They may have to take legal action to maintain a relationship with their grandchild.
In the state of New York, these rights can be sought after by grandparent(s) as well as other nonparental relatives. This includes stepparents, adoptive parents, uncles, aunts and more. The main legal criteria are that the individual(s) seeking visitation or custody have a substantial relationship with the child. When a New York court considers what is a substantial relationship, it will look for proof that a strong bond has been formed between the child and non-parent relative or guardian. It can be a challenge for individual(s) seeking noncustodial parents rights. New York Courts have found in many cases that the relationship of grandparent(s) and extended family members or guardians can have a very positive effect on the well-being of a child. They have made it possible for those petitioning for visitation to be part of a child’s life as long as it is a positive experience for everyone involved.
Best Interest Of The Child
Once a court has established that grandparent(s) or others have standing in a case, the next step is to proceed with the request for visitation or custody. The court will make certain that the child’s parent or legal guardian is given notice of the action of the grandparent(s) or others. The court will then make its decision based on what it considered to be in the child’s best interests.
Grandparents and others in New York are able to legally petition a court for visitation and even custody of a child. This is only possible if the grandparent(s) or others have legal standing. This means they must meet certain legal criteria in order for their case to be brought before a New York court. They will have standing if one or both of the child’s parents are deceased. There could be extraordinary situations where the court needs to intervene in the life of a child and hear the case. Should grandparents or others have legal standing, it does not guarantee them visitation rights or custody. It only gives them the right to seek a remedy for their situation from the court.
There are some common extraordinary circumstances that give grandparents and others standing. The parents voluntarily give up their legal right of care and control concerning the child to grandparent(s) or others who are seeking these legal rights. A parent has not been in contact with their child for at least twenty-four consecutive months. The child has lived in the household of the grandparent(s) or others during this the two year period of parental absence. Extraordinary circumstances also cover a situation where a parent abandoned their child. It is also can exist when a parent is mentally or physically unfit to care for their child.
It is the burden of the grandparent(s) or others to prove their visitation or custody is in the child’s best interests. There are a number of factors that can provide such proof. Their prior relationship with the child and their efforts to maintain a relationship with the child. They need to show why the parent(s) opposition to their visitation or custody is not based on any actual negative factors. A New York family court will listen to all of the evidence. It can be a difficult task to weigh the benefits of having grandparent(s) or others in a child’s life against the wishes of the parent(s). The court will consider the reasons parent(s) do not want the grandparent(s) or others to visit or have custody. Should a court rule against the grandparent(s) or others, it may be difficult to overcome this during the appellate process.