Do Grandparents Have Rights in New York?

Grandparents do not have a statutory right to see their grand children.

I recently had a case in which the grandfather sued my client to get access to his grandchild.  In this particular case, the grandfather had no relationship with the daughter, the mother of the child and did not even know the name of the father of the child.  The grandfather waited until the child was 5 to initiate a law suit to compel access or visitation.   After the grandfather testified, the Court determined that he made only a cursory effort to see the grandchild or his daughter over five years. The Court denied the grandfather’s application.
There are factual situations in which a Court would grant access to the grandparent.  First, if the child or mother or father is deceased.  Second, it the grandparent had a relationship with the child and for no apparent reason the parent cut off the relationship with the child.  At that time the Court would have to determine among other things if it is in the best interest of the child.  Ultimately,the decision will  be based on the facts.