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VisitationGrandparents Denied Visitation with Children of 9-11 Victim

October 17, 2007

The New York Law Journal (subscription required) reported that the parents of a victim of 9/11 were denied visitation with their grandchildren. I posted a couple of times in the recent past on the issue of grandparent visitation.

According to the article in the Law Journal, after the death of the father, relations between the grandparents and the mother became strained and the mother limited the children’s visits with their grandparents.

The Domestic Relations Law has provision for grandparents to seek visitation with grandchildren following the death of a parent. Visitation will be granted if it is found to be in the best interest of the child.

In this case (Smith v. Smith), Family Court Judge Carnell Foskey found that it would not be in the children’s best interests to have visitation with the grandparents.

There was an incident when [the grandmother] put dog collars around the children’s neck and pretended to walk them down the hall like dogs. In July 2003, the grandmother hit [one of the grandchildren] for not cleaning up her crayons.

The grandparents clearly exhibited behaviors which made it questionable whether they should be allowed to have visitation with the children. Given the reported strained relations with the in-law and questionable conduct, a limitation or complete termination of visitation may have been appropriate.

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