Florida residents may think of custody and visitation conflicts existing only between parents, but more often these days grandparents are making their way to a courtroom to attempt to exercise their rights. This has some people asking if the court system has the right to force parents to allow their children to spend time with their grandparents. A recent case has made headlines after grandparents have taken their children to court over custody and visitation involving their grandchildren.
The parents have been together for 19 years, but are not married. The father’s parents are asking for visitation with the children and actually received a court order from a judge that gave them visitation for several holiday’s as well as weekends. It was also ordered that the oldest, a 16-year-old girl, be allowed to contact the grandparents as often as she wants. The judge still allowed the parents to have full custody with all decision making power regarding the children’s health care and school.
The father in this case had a previous run in with the law for drug related charges, but it has been said that shouldn’t be considered now since he has been employed for the past two years and hasn’t been in any additional trouble. Rather than ruling, the judge deferred the case for 60 days to give the parties a chance to try mediation. This will hopefully give the parties a chance to work things out before returning to court.
Any Florida resident that finds themselves involved in a custody and visitation conflict may want to research the applicable state laws to determine the best action to take. This can be an emotional time for all parties involved. While parents typically feel it is their place to make the decisions, grandparents may also feel they have the right to see the children as well which can cause a conflict. Having an understanding of the law can help all parties move forward with realistic expectations.
Source: inforum.com, Demonstrators support couple in fight against grandparents’ visitation rights, Stephen J. Lee, Sept. 10, 2013