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Florida Great-grandmother Given Custody of Children

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Family Law on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

While the relationship between grandparent and grandchild has always been a special one, today that relationship has taken on special significance. Many Florida grandparents step in to care for children when mom or dad may not be able to. However, many a dispute has occurred over grandparents' rights to both custody and visitation of grandchildren.

A great-grandmother was recently granted temporary custody of three children living in South Florida. A Department of Children and Families investigator happened upon an unusual situation when a five-year-old child attempted to prevent a one-year-old child from entering a roadway. While helping the children back inside the home, the investigator discovered unsuitable living conditions for the children inside the home.

The investigator waited for the return of the mother of one of the children, a 24-year-old woman, who returned over an hour later and claimed the five-year-old was someone else's child. The one-year-old child's mother and father were prohibited by the judge from taking that child anywhere while in the great-grandmother's care.

Laws impacting the rights of grandparents can vary by state, but grandparents' rights have been an issue of national interest. Grandparents' rights have become a prominent family law issue in the past several decades; it's an issue that did not receive much attention before. The issue involves not only grandparents and their role in child custody, but also grandparents' visitation with children.

Generally, there are grandparents' rights laws that allow grandparents to seek visitation only in cases of divorce or when a parent is deceased. Other types of laws allow grandparents to seek visitation even if both parents are still alive and still married. As is always the case in child custody disputes and child custody family legal issues, the court will examine and determine the best interests of the children in reaching a visitation or custody arrangement.

A family law attorney can help grandparents, parents and sometimes third parties seeking visitation to better understand the child custody and visitation process. An attorney can then guide the party through the process and hopeful resolution.

Source: NBCMiami.com, "Great-grandmother gets custody of children living in 'filthy' house," Diana Gonzalez, Sept. 7, 2013

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