Grandparents Rights To Visitation With Their Grandchildren

father's rights attorneysGrandparents commonly have a warm, loving relationships with their grandchildren.  These relationships are sometimes interrupted by parents who cut off the grandparents from seeing their grandchildren.  This can be caused by divorces, orders of protection between the parents and/or one of the parent’s desire to simply eliminate the other parent’s father or mother from having a relationship with the grandchildren.

Law Regarding Grandparent’s Rights

Grandparent’s rights issues are to be determined by each State.  State Law, not Federal laws, provide guidelines with regard to grandparent’s maintaining a relationship with their grandchildren.  In New York State, if grandparents can document they previously had a warm, loving relationship with their grandchildren, the grandparents can take legal action to force a parent or parents to give them visitation. This is especially true when the grandchildren have lived with the grandparents or the grandparents have provided child care for the grandchildren.  Grandparents are more than free baby sitters for their grandchildren.  They form part of an important familial relationship that is irreplaceable!

Legal Remedies For Grandparents

The Family Courts in the State of New York are given the authority to make decisions concerning visitation and custody.  Grandparents that have been cut off from their grandchildren can bring a proceeding in the Family Court in the county in which the grandchildren reside to enforce the grandparent’s rights for visitation.

There has been a case decided by the United States Supreme Court named Troxel v. Granville.  This United States Supreme Court case took a rather narrow view of Grandparent’s rights.  The case was decided on the basis of protecting parents’ rights to raise their children.  However, in cases where grandparents’ visitation with their grandchildren will not be harmful, to either the children or the grandchildren, and the grandparents have had an excellent relationship with the grandchildren in the past, the Courts in New York will generally order the parents to allow the grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren.  The basis for the Courts decision concerning issues involving the grandchildren will be what is in the best interest of the grandchildren.


advocate for the best interests of the childrenIf you are a grandparent and you are prevented from having visitation or communication with your grandchildren you have two choices. You can walk away from your grandchild’s lives or you can take legal action, if necessary, to see to it your grandchildren know that you still love them and want to be part of their lives!

About Elliot S. Schlissel

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