Grandfather Did Not Have Standing to Seek Visitation With Grandchildren—Analytical Criteria Explained
The Second Department determined Family Court properly concluded that the grandfather did not have standing to seek visitation with the grandchildren. The analytical criteria include the nature and extent of the grandparent-grandchild relationship and the nature and the basis for the parents’ objection to visitation. Here the grandfather failed to demonstrate mother frustrated his attempts to visit the grandchildren. Mother objected only to the grandfather being accompanied by the grandmother during visits:
In considering whether a grandparent has standing to petition for visitation based upon “circumstances show[ing] that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene” (Domestic Relations Law § 72), “the essential components to the inquiry are the nature and extent of the grandparent-grandchild relationship’ and the nature and basis of the parents’ objection to visitation'” … . “In cases where such a relationship has been frustrated by a parent, the grandparent must show, inter alia, that he or she has made a sufficient effort to establish [a relationship with the child], so that the court perceives [the matter] as one deserving the court’s intervention'” … . ” The evidence necessary will vary in each case but what is required of grandparents must always be measured against what they could reasonably have done under the circumstances'” … .
Here, the Family Court properly determined that the grandfather lacked standing to seek visitation with the grandchildren … . The grandfather failed to demonstrate that the mother frustrated his visitation with the grandchildren … . Indeed, it is undisputed that the mother had asked the grandfather to visit with the grandchildren, and that he only refused because the mother did not want the grandmother to accompany him. Matter of Troiano v Marotta, 2015 NY Slip Op 02979, 2nd Dept 4-8-15