Grandmother Gets Visitation of Child Moved to Florida

The Family Court of Rensselaer County, New York, granted a grandmother’s petition for visitation with her grandchild who had moved to Florida. The grandmother brought a petition for visitation concerning her grandchild. She claimed the mother and the grandchild had significant connections with the State of New York. She was able to present substantial evidence that the grandchild’s present and future welfare existed in the State of New York.

Mother Fights Grandmother’s Petition

The mother challenged both the grandmother’s right to have visitation with the grandchild and claimed the New York Court did not have jurisdiction to even hear the case. The Family Court of Rensselaer County, after hearing the case, decided the grandmother would have unsupervised visitation with the grandchild even though the grandchild was currently living in Florida.

The Mother Appeals

The mother appealed the case to the Appellate Division of the Third Department (an appeals court). In her appeal the mother claimed the Family Court should have dismissed the grandmother’s petition because New York did not have jurisdiction to handle the case. The Family Court judge rendered the decision to hear the case based on the fact New York was the home state of the grandchild for six months prior to the grandmother’s commencement of the visitation proceeding. The court took note the child moved to Florida only two months before the proceeding in the Family Court was initiated.

The Appeals Court affirmed the decision of the Family Court giving the grandmother visitation. The Appeals Court ruled the Family Court had both jurisdiction over the grandchild and the mother of the grandchild.


This is a case involving a grandmother living in Rensselaer County, New York obtaining unsupervised visits with her grandchild who now resided in the State of Florida. This case is an example of protecting a grandparent’s rights to maintain a warm and loving relationship with her for grandparents seeking visitation

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.