Studies have shown that in these hard economic times, grandparents are
playing a larger financial role in their children's lives. Many grandparents
here in New York provide regular monthly support to their children on
behalf of their grandchildren. However, if their child gets a divorce,
the grandparents' rights to see their grandchildren are not guaranteed.
It has always been true that when a couple gets divorced, it affects more
than just the couple and their children. Often, the whole family is affected.
These days, more and more grandparents are stepping up to replace the
missing spouse in both time and money. Grandparents will provide much
needed financial support in addition to moral support, but that support
does not always equal time with the grandchildren.
Grandparents around the country and in New York sometimes find themselves
bartering for time with their grandchildren with money after the parents
have divorced. Since grandparents are not automatically guaranteed the
right to see their grandchildren, they are at the mercy of the custodial
parent. Most state statutes, while constantly changing, provide limited
and often vague guidelines for court ordered grandparent visitation.
In the majority of cases, the courts are hesitant to interfere in the parental
relationship when it comes to grandparents. However, that doesn't
mean that it can't be done. The New York statute regarding grandparents'
rights is no exception. However, it does allow for visitation agreements
to be made by the parties and may order visitation for grandparents in
limited circumstances. Grandparents who want to make sure that they are
able to see their grandchildren may want to seek advice and assistance
in formalizing visitation.
Source: Reuters, "Grandparents, purse strings and divorce," Temma Ehrenfeld, July 23, 2012
Situations similar to those described in this post are the type our firm
handles. To learn more about our practice, you may wish to visit our
Poughkeepsie grandparents' rights page.