Who can file for visitation in New York?

| Feb 4, 2020 | Child Custody

In most cases, when the New York family courts make custody arrangements, they then leave it up to the parents to decide with whom the child will spend time, and how much time each extended family member will get with the child. However, what happens when the courts award one parent sole physical and legal custody? Will the other parent and his or her family members get any visitation time with the child?

According to NYCourts.gov, the courts prefer that children of divorce have a relationship with both parents and families. If the courts decide to grant one party sole custody, they are likely to allow the other parent “visitation time.” The courts will only not allow visitation if they believe there is good reason to withhold parenting time. Even then, a judge is more likely to award supervised visitation than to forego it altogether.

If the courts denied you custody, you may file for visitation. So, too, may your parents and your child’s adult siblings. However, a family law judge is only likely to grant visitation to the latter two parties in limited circumstances.

If your child ends up in foster care, you have the right to visit your child even without a visitation order. However, if the courts terminated your parental rights, you cannot legally visit your child. If this is your child’s situation, your child’s grandparents on either your side or the other parent’s side may file for custody or visitation. The same is true of your child’s adult siblings. However, such cases are usually complex and require court involvement and guidance.