Grandchildren are among the greatest gifts one can receive. However, what happens once the parent’s divorce? You may be faced with many questions as far as visitation rights go. We will lay down the general facts that exist in Florida, along with the extent and the support you can receive with our attorneys who specialize in family law.
It’s Up to the Parents
Florida state law states that the state government does not mandate visitation rights for grandparents, meaning that it is solely up to the parents. We know this may be unfortunate, but on the bright side, many grandparents still get to enjoy their grandchildren during the children’s parenting time. So, while you may not get that one-on-one time with them, there is a possibility for some bonding time to still be had. Please keep in mind that if the parent does not claim this right, then there will be no protection under Florida law.
Although we mentioned that the decision is up to the parents, there are some exceptions to the law that grandparents may press. The terms that apply include visitation rights only if both parents are deceased, missing or in a persistent vegetative state. If either of these parents is in any of the situations mentioned above and the other parent has a convicted felony/violence behavior that can threaten/harm the child, then the grandparent has rights to the child or children. Remember that both parents must meet the criteria, not just one. A grandparent may choose to sue if these conditions apply to claim full or partial custody.
Best Interest Factors
There are best interest factors that the law instructs towards grandparents in the case of suing for visitation. The best interest of the child is applied in this instance. These interests include the grandparent’s willingness to have a close relationship with the child, the length and quality of the relationship before the incident, the child’s preference once they are old enough to say who they prefer, and the mental/physical health of both the child and the grandparent. Ongoing personal contact between the grandparents and the child should be shown before the parent’s death for consideration rights as well.
Temporary Custody or Concurrent Custody
In the case that the child’s parents cannot take care of their children, there are temporary custody or concurrent custody rights the grandparents can take on instead of visitation rights. Things like school and medical treatment are essential aids the child should have access to, which the grandparents can help out with. Otherwise known as a short-term solution, the grandparents have the child’s legal documents on hand until the parents are ready to play the primary caregiver role again.
Our attorneys can help explain your visitation plus other rights depending on your case. Please contact us today.
The Holman Law Firm is committed to providing the best legal service in Pensacola, Destin, Pace and Cantonment, FL, in a variety of legal areas including Family Law and Personal Injury. We specialize in Fathers’ Rights and will be there every step of the way to fight for your rights. Contact us now for a free consultation at our office or go online at www.holmanfirm.com.