As a grandparent, you may be wondering if you have legal rights to a relationship with your grandchild(ren). The short answer is yes, you do. Making the decision to pursue a grandparent’s rights case can be tough. But if you want to ensure your relationship with your grandchild(ren) continues, you may want to get your rights in writing by securing an attorney who is an expert in grandparent’s law in Manhattan. Here are a few things to know about grandparent rights:
You shouldn’t feel guilty
Grandparent involvement is a beneficial part of childhood
While your relationship with your child or your grandchild(ren)’s parent may be rocky, research has shown that children benefit from having a relationship with their grandparents. And the law agrees with this perspective, too. Rather than feeling upset by your lack of time with your grandchild(ren), you have a right to pursue legal avenues toward a relationship.
Legal counsel can help
You can pursue a visitation agreement
If you feel that you are being unlawfully prevented from having a relationship with your grandchild(ren), you may purse a legal agreement that ensures you will have visitation. Your rights vary by state, but in New York and Manhattan, you typically have the right to request court-ordered visitation for a variety of reasons including death of a parent or prevention from maintaining a relationship with your grandchild(ren). An attorney can walk you through the laws that may apply to your situation and whether your case is in the best interest of the child(ren).
You can better protect your grandchild(ren) with a custody agreement
If you’re the primary caregiver of your grandchild(ren), you have rights to custody
In some circumstances, grandparents have found themselves in the age of primary parenting again. If you have an informal arrangement for taking care of your grandchild(ren), you should consider getting an agreement legally formalized. Reasons for this include protection of the child(ren), school district enrollment, and tax implications. Sometimes, this type of legal arrangement is seamless. Other times, it can be brutal. Hiring a skilled attorney can help you navigate the custody issues and let you know what to expect from the situation.
Attorneys can best navigate grandparents rights
Consult with an attorney to see how the law may be on your side
Grandparents’ rights include a variety of situations and levels of legal involvement. Here are a few ways your attorney can help:
- Grandparent visitation rights
- Grandparent visitation schedule
- Grandparent visitation after divorce
- Grandparent mediation
- Grandparent custody agreement
Your relationship with your grandchild(ren) is a precious thing worth protecting. If you feel your relationship has been prevented or interfered with, or you’ve found yourself as the primary caregiver of your grandchild(ren), consult with an attorney to ensure your relationship is legally protected. Having a legal visitation agreement allows you to ensure your relationship with your grandchild(ren) continues. Having a legal custody agreement may allow you to make decisions for your grandchild(ren)that would otherwise require parental permission (ex: enrolling in school, traveling, etc.). Don’t struggle and stress over whether to ask an attorney for advice. Many grandparents are glad they’ve taken legal action, and their grandchild(ren) benefit from having a relationship with them.