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New York Grandparents Rights

State Law Is Brief But Not Simple



The briefness of New York's statutes does not translate into an advantage for grandparents.

Image © State of New York

The New York provisions regarding grandparent visitation are among the briefest in the 50 states, yet they are not easy to understand. For one thing, visitation and custody are treated in the same statute. For another, the language is more legalistic than that of some states.

Basically New York law provides for grandparent visitation if at least one parent is deceased. The only other condition mentioned in the statute is "where circumstances show that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene." As in all of the 50 states, visitation must be in the best interest of the child.

Those wanting more insight into the workings of the law in New York should read Five Critical Issues in New York's Grandparent Visitation Law After Troxel v. Granville by Stephen A. Newman, which references the most important examples of case law in the light of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case. See New York Revised Statutes, DOM (Domestic Relations), Article 5, Section 72.

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