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As family law continues to evolve and develop, courts often take a broad view of relatives’ rights to enjoy quality time with children. Grandparents are typically the most common family members who are eligible to apply for legal rights to visit their grandchildren on a regular basis. If you are a grandparent denied the opportunity to visit with your grandchildren, you should contact NYC grandparents rights lawyers to learn more about the law’s protection of your legal rights. Depending on the situation and evidence presented to the court, a ruling may be made in your favor that would address common issues associated with grandparent rights based on goals like the following.
Grandparents have a family connection.
Whether related by blood or marriage, or by adoption, grandparents that have established a positive relationship with the child of a son or daughter is generally considered an acceptable and important family member who is entitled to continue seeing the child. Courts widely recognize the value of multi-generational family ties, and when possible will objectively assess and approve a grandparent’s right to visit with a grandchild.
Grandparents fill a family void.
Families torn apart by dysfunction or divorce often inadvertently hurt and upset young children. Grandparents with decades of experience and accumulated wisdom help to fill emotional gaps and provide added security to bewildered children caught in the crossfire of parents’ conflicts. Assuming the grandparents are not caught up in the parental wars, they can become stabilizing forces for children when they need it most.
Grandparents have legal rights.
As NYC grandparents rights lawyers can attest, grandparents are entitled by law to visit their grandchildren, provided the court approves their petition for visitation. Not granting visitation to eligible grandparents would break the law and possibly lead to contentious litigation, further complicating the lives of children who are involved.
Grandparents’ rights attorneys will represent the grandparents in court by submitting appropriate documentation and pleadings. Evidence, if required, will also be provided. The court may hear opposing testimony by parents, if introduced, and render a decision after weighing all the facts. Several types of verdicts could be reached.
If the judge feels that the children’s best interests will not be served by visiting with grandparents, the request will be denied.
Certain conditions may lead the judge to determine that grandparents’ visits should be temporarily postponed. This may be due to the child being ill or hospitalized, or another need that must be addressed before visitation can commence. For example, the children, parents, or grandparents may be required to take a special class such as anger management or attend a workshop before setting up visitation.
The court may allow visitation on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, or on another basis that coordinates with the children’s and parents’ schedules. A court-appointed guardian ad litem, or children’s advocate, may be assigned to accompany the grandparent on the first few visits to ensure everything goes smoothly. If there has been tension between parents and the grandparents, the court will want to ensure the tensions are under control at the time of visitation.
Sometimes parents do not comply with the court order and refuse to let the grandparent visit the children. They may do this aggressively by denying the grandparent a visit as scheduled, or they might be more passive by making excuses about the children’s schedule when the grandparent is supposed to see them. If the problem persists, the grandparent may have to go back to court and request legal enforcement of the visitation order.
Most grandparent rights can be readily addressed with few or no complications when everyone is willing to work together for the children’s well-being. However, much depends on the type of relationship that exists between parents and grandparents. A family law attorney can explain state laws that govern NYC grandparent rights.