Respected Onondaga County Family Lawyer Represents Grandparents
Syracuse firm works to establish grandparents’ custody and visitation rights
New York child custody matters frequently affect other family members besides the parents and children involved. The grandparents of children at the center of a custody proceeding might lose access to the young people they love after a court order sets a parenting time schedule. At Bombardo Law Office, P.C. in Syracuse, I advise and represent Central New York grandparents who seek to establish a legal right to see their grandchildren and be an active part of their lives. I can explain the relevant New York law and will take a proactive approach to protecting your relationship with your grandchildren.
Knowledgeable grandparents’ rights attorney advises clients during divorce
Parents in New York typically have a right to refuse their own parents — their children’s grandparents — from seeing, visiting or establishing a relationship with their grandchildren. Grandparents, and sometimes other non-parent relatives such as aunts and uncles, are only afforded visitation rights in certain circumstances. A New York grandparent can pursue a court order giving them access to their grandchild if:
- One of the grandchild's parents is deceased,
- The grandparent has a pre-existing relationship with the child that one or both parents has now cut off, or
- Circumstances are so extraordinary that the court intervention against the parent’s wishes to grant a grandparent or grandparents visitation time is in the best interest of the child
The court order may be requested during a divorce or separate custody proceeding involving the child’s parents, or at another time.
Extraordinary circumstances that may justify intervention by a grandparent can include but are not limited to:
- Parent left child in care of grandparent for extended period of time
- Parent is unfit due to addiction or another cause
- Parent has a lack of involvement in the child’s life
- Parent has a history of domestic violence or child neglect
- Parent has an unfortunate or involuntary disruption of custody for an extended period of time
- Child was adopted by another family
The family court will look at the particular circumstances involved in your case to determine whether or not they can be considered extraordinary. As a seasoned family lawyer with more than 27 years of experience practicing in New York, I help grandparents gather and present the evidence they need to support their visitation petitions.
Attorney helps demonstrate what is in the best interest of grandchildren
A grandparent who is prevented from seeing their grandchildren and wishes to gain the legal right to do so must show that visitation between the grandparent and child would be in the best interest of the child. A family law judge will consider several factors when making this determination. As grandparents, you will first have to prove that one of the following conditions exists:
- You have an established relationship with your grandchild
- You have actively tried to establish a relationship with your grandchild, but have been prevented by your grandchild’s parent(s)
The court will look at all the relevant factors at the time of your court filing. These factors can include your ability to provide care for your grandchild, the stability and conditions of your home environment and any arrangements made for the child’s siblings. The court will pay particular attention to the wishes and needs of your grandchildren, as well as the past behavior of the child's parents and any objections raised by the parents. Parents who object to grandparent visitation can present significant legal obstacles.
If your son or daughter is going through a divorce or custody conflict in New York courts, or if you hope to become a legal guardian of your grandchild, you should explore your rights and visitation options with a family law attorney. I work one-on-one with grandparents who want to build or maintain their bond with their grandchildren.
Contact a caring Syracuse grandparents’ rights attorney for a free consultation
At Bombardo Law Office, P.C. in Syracuse, I advise and represent New York grandparents who seek the right to visit and maintain relationships with their grandchildren. To schedule your free consultation, call 315-488-5544 or contact me online.