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Grandparents Visitation Case

Grandparents Visitation CaseA grandmother brought a visitation petition in the Family Court of Kings County before Judge Javier Vargas. The child’s parents brought a motion to dismiss the grandmother’s, Debbie’s, application for visitation. They claimed Debbie had no right to bring this visitation proceeding because she only had sporadic contact with her grandson. They also claimed she did nothing to pursue a relationship with him since December 2015.

The Attorney for the Child

An attorney was appointed to represent the child. The attorney for the child argued the parent’s application to dismiss the grandparent’s visitation petition should be denied. She claimed the grandmother had had a relationship with the grandchild and had standing to bring the lawsuit.

The Judge’s Decision

Judge Vargas ruled in favor of Debbie and the attorney for the child. He held the parent’s motion should be dismissed. Debbie was able to sufficiently establish standing to pursue the visitation proceeding. Judge Vargas found Debbie showed that before 2015 she enjoyed a loving relationship with her grandson. She was later barred from seeing him.

The Problem was between the Parents and Grandparents

The parents wanted Debbie to comply with conditions involving therapy to address what they felt was uncivil behavior towards them. Debbie continued to make various attempts to continue to see her grandson, including seeking intervention of the Family Court. Judge Vargas found there was a problematic relationship between the parents and grandmother. However, this was not sufficient to deny the grandmother visitation with her grandson. Judge Vargas thereafter ordered a hearing to determine whether the visitation between Debbie and the grandson was in her grandson’s best interests.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlisel is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. Elliot has brought numerous lawsuits on behalf of grandparents to obtain visitation rights with their grandchildren. He has helped grandparents throughout the Metropolitan New York area obtain visitation with their children for more than 3 decades. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Same Sex Partner Getting Visitation Rights

Wedding rings

In a case which emanated originally from Suffolk County New York, the Appellate Division, Second Department, an appeals court, upheld a Suffolk County Family Court’s ruling that a female same sex partner had legal standing to seek parenting time with children despite the fact artificial insemination’s had not been conducted by a doctor in the State of New York and therefore did not comply with New York’s artificial insemination law. The appeals court held: “the record reflects that the parties made an informed mutual decision to conceive this subject children via artificial insemination and to raise them together, first while in a registered domestic partnership in California and, later, while legally married in that State.”

Domestic Partnerships

The women entered into a registered domestic partnership in the year 2004 in California. In 2007 the biological parent gave birth to a child through artificial insemination. The non-biological parent was listed on the child’s birth certificate as a parent. However, the non-biological parent did not adopt the child. In 2008 the parties were married in California. Thereafter, the biological parent had another child through artificial insemination. The non-biological parent was listed as a parent on the child’s birth certificate. Both children were conceived by sperm given from the same sperm donor. The artificial insemination’s were conducted at the parties’ home without a doctor being present.

Parenting Time (Visitation Rights)

The biological parent claimed that the non-biological parent lacked standing to have parenting time with the child born in 2007. She argued they were not legally married at the time. With regard to the child born in 2009, she argued the artificial insemination was not performed by a physician and therefore the non-biological parent cannot be deemed the child’s parent under New York Domestic Relations Law Section 73. This statute states a child conceived by artificial insemination is deemed the legitimate of the mother and her husband if the procedure was conducted by a physician after the written consent of both parents.

Elliot S. Schlissel

In the underlying Family Court proceeding which took place in Suffolk County, Judge Deborah Poulos found that the couple’s noncompliance with the artificial insemination statutes in both New York and California did not prevent the court from awarding the non-biological parent parenting time with the children.

Conclusion

The decision in this expands the rights of non-biological parents to have a relationship with their children.

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