The right to visitation with a child is not a right held exclusively by parents. In New York, different family members may seek to secure visitation rights with related youths through the family law courts. While visitation is often sought by grandparents so that they may spend time with their grandchildren, siblings may also seek visitation with their brothers and sisters if they otherwise have no means of spending time with the youths.
In order for a party to exercise visitation rights with a child he or she must be granted an Order of Visitation. Orders of Visitation are awarded by family courts throughout the state. In order for a court to issue such an order, though, a petitioning party generally must demonstrate that granting visitation would serve the best interests of the child subject to the order.
A petition for an Order of Visitation may be denied if a child could be put into danger or harm as a result of fulfilling the petitioning party's request. Though every case is different, a petition may be denied if a court fears that child may suffer abuse, be abducted, or be subjected to other harmful conditions that would be detrimental to his person.
If a petition for visitation is granted and a party receives an order then he must obey the tenants of that order so that it is not revoked. A party may have unsupervised or supervised time with a child; in either case there may be particular rules that apply to where visitation may occur and what may be done during the visitation times.
Children can benefit from maintaining relationships with their siblings and extended family members. Through Orders of Visitation, important familial connections can be maintained. Readers who would like to learn more about sibling, grandparent, or other forms of visitation may discuss their rights with their family law attorneys.