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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I was wondering can I get visitation rights or at least

Customer Question

Hello I was wondering can I get visitation rights or at least know where or how is my niece doing or living? I haven't seen her or known of her directly since she was 3 or 4 I belive and she is now 12.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know she lives in El paso texas and I live in artesia nm but I wouldn't mind driving over there if I got the chance to see her.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
The answer I will provide will likely not be favorable so I ask that you do not blame the messenger.
To answer your question directly, both Federal and New Mexico state laws favor parents making decisions in keeping access away from grandparents, uncles, aunts, or anyone else if they so choose. In 2000, the US Supreme Court, in a decision called Troxel v. Granville, stated that parental rights are superior to grandparent rights and that parents have the right and the ability to withhold access to anyone else.
That does not mean that you have no rights. You can still petition the courts for guardianship or for visitation, but getting such rights is fairly difficult. The courts will only grant you visitation if you can show that a legitimate bond exists with the child, and that it would be in the best interest of the child to know you. This claim for a 'bond' is critical, and would likely create an uphill battle if you choose to pursue it if you have not yet been involved in the child's life for so long.
This is not to say you shouldn't pursue this, I am merely pointing out the law and the options available. You can seek rights, but as parents their rights are typically superior to yours.
Hope that helps clarify.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.

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