Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Lori Pace
Grandparents might be unable to visit their grandchildren after a divorce, death, or other events between the children’s parents. They might wonder if they have the legal right to keep a relationship with their grandchildren and if the court can grant them visitation rights in such circumstances. Although some states retain grandparents’ visitation rights, Florida has the most restrictive policies about grandparents’ rights. So, it only grants visitation rights against the parent’s will in very specific terms.
Fundamental Rights of Grandparents to their Child
Florida courts upheld the parent’s fundamental right to determine what is best for their child in recent years. This only requires little intervention from the government or courts. In short, a court will usually honor the wishes of a parent if they decide not to allow their child to see grandparents. Hence, this makes it difficult for grandparents to have legal rights to visit their grandchildren.
What is the best way for a grandparent to get custody or visitation rights?
Florida law allows for grandparents (maternal, paternal, or step-grandparents) to have visitation rights. But only if a child has been adjudicated a dependent of the state or removed from the parent’s home. The court must determine that the relationship and visitation of grandparents have to be in the best interest of the child. The court can withhold visitation rights if the grandparent is convicted of sexual or physical abuse of a child.
Grandparents who have visitation rights to a child taken from their parents will have to pay all transportation costs. Besides, they also have to work with the caseworker to schedule visitation. They are not allowed to make visitation arrangements with the parent or the child. Otherwise, they could lose all visitation rights.
Florida law permits a grandparent temporary custody rights in limited circumstances. If they can show that the child will benefit from temporary placement in their home rather than placing them in foster homes or other facilities, then they can take temporary custody. These decisions are carefully considered by Florida courts. As it is to ensure that the relationship between parent and child is not in danger. However, it is not as easy as you might think for grandparents to obtain visitation or custody rights.
For assistance, contact a Family Law Attorney
Consult an experienced family lawyer whether:
- You are a grandparent seeking visitation rights or custody rights for your grandchildren
- A parent seeking protection of the rights for your child’s best interest.