Grandparent visitation is not automatic in New York. There is an assumption that the grandparent will have visitation with their grandchild through the grandchild’s parent. There is also a presumption that a fit parents acts in the best interest of their child. This means the courts will give great weight to the parent’s decision about their child’s visitation and access to the child’s grandparents. See Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000).
There are circumstances when the grandparent can obtain a court order for visitation with the grandchild. First, the grandparent has to prove a right to be heard in the court. To prove the right to be heard in court, the grandparent must show their child (the child’s mother or father) is deceased or show an extraordinary circumstance that justifies the court’s involvement. Second, the grandparent then has to prove that it is in the best interest of the child to have court ordered visitation with the grandparent.
This is an excerpt from my new book “Onward and Upward: Guide for Getting Through New York Divorce & Family Law Issues” available on Amazon, Kindle and iBooks. This is an except from the chapter I wrote with the talented Bonnie Mohr. I also wrote the Chapter on Mediation, which also discusses mediation on disputes like this. Not only am I a family law litigator, but I am also a trained mediator for divorce, child custody and visitation disputes, and commercial mediation. The book is chalk full of great advice on a myriad of family law issues ranging from prenups, child custody disputes, and divorce/annulments. The book’s special sauce is that it has over 48 authors, including many nonlawyer authors, writing on both legal and nonlegal topics. More info on the book can be found here.