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Court Rules on Grandparent’s Rights Issue


A mother gave birth to her child on March 14, 1991. The mother died in December 1993 of cancer, said a New York Family Lawyer. About two months after her death, a girlfriend moved in with the father and daughter. The girlfriend and father eventually got married in October 1994, she adopted the daughter. By the late quarter of 1997, the couple went through divorce proceedings. This is when the child’s biological maternal grandparents, filed a petition with the court for visitation, which was granted by the Trial Court. The mother and father appealed against this decision.

According to the details given by both parties, the grandparents were in good terms with the father before their daughter died. It was also mentioned that they frequently visited with their grandchild. The relationship started to fall apart when the new wife came into the picture. At first, visitation with their granddaughter was reduced and after the adoption it ceased completely.

The grandparents argued with the law that says when one or both parents are deceased then, the grandparents may be given visitation rights. The father and his new wife argued that this violates their rights as parents of the child. The parties tried mediation but were unsuccessful, and the case went to trial.

A New York Custody Lawyer said that the court saw what can be viewed as conflict between the privacy of the parents in how they bring up their child and the grandparent’s rights to visit their grandchild, under the law. The law states that the court should not infringe on the upbringing of a child in an intact family. They said that in this case where divorce proceedings were going, the best interest of the child is going to be the main basis. The court said that in this case having grandparents around gives a child the sense of family identity. In situations wherein there is a death in a child’s family or divorce of their parents, the grandparents provide the stability that a child needs. It is not as well a case where in the visits will just suddenly be granted as the grandparents were visiting the granddaughter previously when her birth mother was alive and even a few months after her death. Although the granddaughter now lives with the new mother, the court still granted limited visitation rights to the grandparents.

There are times and cases where a court or the state can determine if a child needs the support of her grandparents. The well being of the child supersedes any other concern or issue of different parties. This is why the court will grant visitation to a party if they see that child need it in his or her current situation.

Divorce cases can be complicated, and emotionally draining, particularly when this is a child invovled. There is often overlap between family law and criminal law. A New York Criminal Lawyer can tell you that because of the frequent overlap between the two areas of law, the court system has created special court rooms that hold will hear both the criminal and family law aspects of a divorce case. This was done to streamline the process and avoid overlapping of issues.

If you are a parent protecting your child or a grandparent wanting what is best for your grandchild, you can contact us. We will provide you with options on what to do to see to it that the child’s welfare is put first and considered. We have offices Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan in New York. In Long Island, we are in Suffolk County and Nassau County, as well as in Westchester County. We will provide you with legal assistance and see to it your rights and the child’s is protected. Call us today at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW for free consultation.

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