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With the increase of divorce and less typical family structures, grandparents’ rights is an issue that is appearing in court more and more frequently. The law on the issue is quite complex, and individuals fighting for a relationship with their grandchildren may face an uphill battle. That being said, most grandparents often do have the right to maintain a healthy relationship with their grandchildren.

At Capetola & Divins, P.C., our matrimonial and family law attorneys help grandparents in Nassau County and across Long Island protect their rights. You can schedule your free consultation now at our Williston Park office by calling 516-746-2300.


Traditionally, grandparents have held an important role in the family. As the oldest living relatives, they were looked up to, and their opinions and thoughts were respected. Even in our current time, many children enjoy very close relationships with their grandparents. Their life experience gives them an abundance of wisdom to share, and their role allows them to interact in a positive way with the children without having to dispense the discipline associated with their parents.

Unfortunately, death or divorce can create a serious threat to this relationship. When a parent dies, is incarcerated or loses custody in a divorce, his or her spouse may not permit their in-laws’ continued involvement in the lives of the children. Typically, divorce settlements provide visitation rights for the noncustodial parent, but only rarely is any mention made of the grandparents. Recent court cases have also failed to make provision for the rights of grandparents. In 2000, a dispute between grandparents and a widowed spouse went all the way to the Supreme Court. The ruling was made that the surviving spouse had the right to determine who could spend time with her children. This case was a grave discouragement for the advocates of grandparents.

It is critical that grandchildren are able to form a positive relationship with their grandparents. Our knowledgeable lawyers will do everything they can to protect your rights to see your grandchildren.


Despite these discouraging scenarios, grandparents do have options. New York does allow individuals to request visitation rights if it can be shown that the relationship is in the best interest of the child. The law of New York is rather briefly stated and so is open to a variety of interpretations. Regardless, grandparents do have the option to request custody and/or visitation rights for their grandchild. Because of the difficulties inherent in this issue, it is essential that individuals retain the services of an experienced family lawyer. A competent attorney can evaluate your situation and provide advice on the best options for you.

If you are facing the loss of a relationship with your grandchild, the law firm of Capetola & Divins, P.C., is ready to help. Contact our office today for a free consultation and find out what you can do to exercise your rights as a grandparent. Call us at 516-746-2300 or send us an email to schedule your free first meeting.

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