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JPEsq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience:  Published articles on family law, featured in several publications for successful trial work.
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A little over 4 years ago I took my stepfather to court. He

Customer Question

A little over 4 years ago I took my stepfather to court. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to 3 years probation. When all of this happened, my mother decided to stay with him and I haven't seen her or my younger sister since. Neither has anyone on her side of the family.

They live in a gated community so if we just showed up, they could arrest us for trespassing. My sister is only my half sister, do I have any rights to seek visitation? If not, does my mother's mother (My sister's grandmother) have any visitation rights? Or is there any other ways that we can go about seeing them without doing anything illegal?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JPEsq. replied 7 years ago.

In general a parent has a right to raise their child as they see fit... which includes allowing them or not allowing them to see other family members. That said, New York does have a mechanism for allowing grandparents to seek visitation.


Section 72(1) of the Domestic Relations Law states that

"...where circumstances show that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene, a grandparent may apply to [supreme or family court] and . . . the court, by order after due notice to the parent or any other person or party having the care, custody, and control of such child, to be given in such manner as the court shall prescribe, may make such directions as the best interest of the child may require, for visitation rights for such grandparent or grandparents in respect to such child."



This basically means that the grandparent has to show the "equity" requires that they be heard on the issue. Then, if the court hears them, the grandparent has to show that the best interests of the child are served by granting visitation.



As a sibling, there is nothing in the law that would give you visitation specifically. BUt you could file under the same statute, stating that equity requires it. The child's grandmother can definitely seek visitation though.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I forgot to mention that my mother lives in PA right now. The rest of us live in NY. Does that matter?
Expert:  JPEsq. replied 7 years ago.
No. Any motion would have to be made in the county where the child resides. It does not matter where you live.