David P. Badanes, Esq.

In New York, if the parents get divorced, do the Grandparents have the right to visit their grandchildren? Generally, the answer is “Yes”.

If after a divorce in New York, one of the parents dies, the grandparents have the legal right to seek visitation. This is called “standing”. It does not mean that the Court will automatically grant the grandparents actual visitation with their grandchild, it just means that they have the automatic right to go to Court and request that the Court grant them visitation.

If both parents are still alive, the grandparents still may seek to obtain visitation, however, in those situations, the grandparents do not have automatic standing.

In order to obtain “grandparent visitation”, a grandparent needs to show that there is a “meaningful relationship” between the grandparent and the grandchild. Typically, this would be shown by: (1) the frequency of the visits between the grandparent and the grandchild before the divorce; (2) the frequency of any other types of contacts (e.g., letters, emails, texting, skype) between the grandparent and the grandchild before the divorce; (3) the frequency of the visits between the grandparent and the grandchild after the divorce; (4) the frequency of any other types of contacts (e.g., letters, emails, texting, skype) between the grandparent and the grandchild after the divorce.

Even in situations where the frequency of visits or contacts are not numerous, if the grandparent can demonstrate that when the grandchild does visit there is a special bond or relationship, they may be granted visitation rights. This often occurs when the grandparent lives far away from the grandchild, but, when the grandchild visits, they experience some type of special relationship.

Grandparents may also obtain visitation with their grandchildren, even when the grandparents and the parent have an acrimonious relationship or when the parent opposes the grandparents visitation rights.

If you are a grandparent seeking visitation, then you need an attorney who can guide you through the process. The Badanes Law Office can provide the legal advice and guidance you need. Call the Badanes Law Office today at: 631-239-1702, email us at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County (Garden City).

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