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Child Custody Resources
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Do Aunts And Uncles Have Visitation Rights
Divorces can be ugly, and the division of parenting rights and responsibilities can be even uglier. When a family splits up because of a divorce, the child's mother and father are not the only family members affected by the separation, and the family court system typically does not consider aunts and uncles when they decide visitation rights.
Every State Is Different
While the courts usually overlook aunts and uncles during the initial custody and visitation arrangements, some states such as New York allow extended family members to petition the court for visitation rights once the original agreement is official. Other states such as California, do not.
How Do I Know
If you are an aunt or uncle seeking visitation, it is best to consult a child custody lawyer in your area to find out what your laws are. Such an attorney can tell you whether you have the ability to file for visitation or if another avenue is available. You may be able to visit the child while he is visiting one of his parents, for instance.
How Can A Lawyer Help
Seeking the advice of a child custody attorney in such a situation is simple and safe. It is much easier to consult with an attorney about visitation and find out the facts about the laws in your area than it is to guess and hope that you are right. If you live in a state that allows you to petition the court for visitation, the attorney can help you create and file the necessary paperwork, and even represent you in a court hearing if needed. Working with an experienced professional who is familiar with the laws and courts will save you time and frustration while working on your side and in your favor to make sure that your rights are properly preserved as an aunt or uncle.
Visitation rights for aunts and uncles are not usually included in normal divorce proceedings. If you are an aunt or uncle looking for visitation rights to a child involved in a custody matter, please consult a family law attorney in your area to help.