At Adams & Luka, we understand that every child should be able to enjoy a close and loving relationship with his or her grandparents. Unfortunately, divorce often upsets the family dynamics, creating a hardship for both grandparents and children. Often, the grandparents of the parent who has less time with the children will not see their grandchildren as often as they would like, if at all. As trusted family law attorneys, we urge parents to work with grandparents in regards to visitation and believe that strong relationships with grandparents is vital to the well-being of children.
As a grandparent, you may simply desire to spend more time with your grandchildren. In some situations, grandparents desire custody as the parents of the children may be involved in drug or alcohol abuse, or even abuse the children. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for grandparents to get visitation or custody rights due to recent rulings by the Florida Supreme Court. We understand how difficult it can be, and the complexity of grandparent's rights in Florida and attorneys will fight aggressively on your behalf to reach your desired results.Visitation Rights for Grandparent’s
While some states provide grandparents greater visitation rights, Florida has made grandparent visitation requests difficult. Normally, grandparents have no visitation rights, unless such visitation is agreed to by both parents. However, pursuant to FL Statute 752.011, grandparents are permitted to petition the court for visitation rights with their grandchildren in certain, limited circumstances:
- If both parents are deceased, missing, or in a vegetative state; or
- If one parent is deceased, missing, or in a vegetative state and the other parent is a convicted felon.
Florida law also allows grandparents to retain visitation rights if a child has been removed from the parent’s home and is now a dependent of the state. A child is dependent of the state when the court finds there is sufficient reason to take the child from the parents’ physical custody due to abandonment, abuse, or neglect.
The court must find that continued visitation and relationships with the grandparents are in the best interest of the child. The factors to determine this include, among other factors, the length and quality of the relationship between the child and the grandparent, the child's preference, and the health of the grandparents. The court will also consider whether the grandparents had an established relationship or contact with the grandchild prior to the divorce. Florida courts weigh these visitation decisions very carefully to make sure the parent-child relationship is always maintained when appropriate. As a result, grandparents obtaining visitation or custody rights to grandchildren may be difficult, although not impossible, in Florida.Custody Rights for Grandparent’s
Similar to visitation rights, there are limited circumstances when a grandparent is able to obtain custody of their grandchild. A judge will only grant custody to a grandparent if it is in the child’s best interest and the parent has been deemed unfit or poses a danger or threat to the child.
Grandparents can also request temporary custody of their grandchildren depending on their situation. A grandparent can file for temporary custody if you have the signed consent of the child's legal parents or if you are caring for the child full time as a parent would, as the parents are absent, and the child is presently living with you. The court will always prioritize what is in the best interest of the minor children involved when modifying or terminate any established custody plans.Strong Advocates for the Rights of Grandparents in Florida
When you have enjoyed a close relationship with your grandchildren over the years, suddenly being cut out of the picture can be heartbreaking. Whether the children's parents have separated or divorced, or you are seeking visitation/custody, our grandparents’ rights lawyers are strong advocates, and know that the courts in Florida focus primarily on the best interests of the children. When families break apart, grandparents are often overlooked. We provide comprehensive legal guidance and support for grandparents who desire adequate visitation or are seeking custody of their grandchildren.Contact Adams & Luka Today
Although enjoying a close relationship with grandchildren is not always easy following a divorce of the parent’s children, our grandparent's rights attorneys are dedicated to the best possible results. We understand that in too many cases, grandparents are overlooked. If you are a grandparent who desires visitation with your grandchildren or who seeks custody, contact Adams & Luka online or call 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084 now.