Florida grandparents’ rights

Florida is known for its large population of grandparents. Southwest Florida continues to attract more and more retirees to the area. We get many calls from concerned grandparents who are interested in securing visitation with their grandchildren for one reason or another. Florida has limits on when grandparents can be granted court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren.

Grandpa and kid

                                          Photo by photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As of July 1, 2015, revisions to the Florida Statute pertaining to grandparent visitation are in effect. While these revisions are a drastic change from what was previously in place, it does expand the definition of a grandparent and sets forth less restrictive language pertaining to their rights to petition for visitation. The statute applies to great-grandparents as well as grandparents. Grandparents are allowed to file Petitions for Visitation if the parents of the grandchild are deceased, missing or in a persistent vegetative state. They may also request visitation if the one parent is deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state and the other parent has been convicted of a felony or an offense of violent behavior that poses a substantial threat of harm to the minor child’s health or welfare.

Grandparents must still prove parental unfitness or significant harm to the child before the court will enter an order granting the requesting timesharing. This can be a daunting hurdle. As in other family law matters the courts are assessing under the best interest of the child standard. The statute lays out several factors that the court shall consider in reaching its ultimate ruling. Some of these factors include the length and quality of the previous relationship between the minor child and the grandparent and the reasons cited by the responding parent as to why he/she ended contact or visitation between the minor child and the grandparent.

Each case has its own set of facts. If you are interested in seeking visitation with your grandchild schedule a consultation and we can discuss the facts specific to your situation and options that you can consider.

For more information on divorce and family law issues, email Keith@AttorneyGrossman.com, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

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     Posted on June 25, 2015 at 9:07 am | No comment

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