Florida mom in Dispute over Grandparents' Visitation Rights

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Family Law on Friday, April 12, 2013.

Grandparents' rights issues can be both complex and sometimes controversial.

A Florida mother is in a cross-border custody dispute with her child's grandparents. The situation brings the important family law issue over grandparents' rights to the forefront. The visitation dispute has been going on for several years ever since the woman's husband was killed by her grandmother. The grandparents are in Illinois and the woman has spent several months in jail in Florida due to her fight against an order that her daughter must go to Illinois to visit her grandparents. The woman claims she is caught between Florida and Illinois in the legal process. The woman reports that when her child has visited her grandparents, it has had a negative impact on the child. The woman stated that she is happy for the grandparents to come and visit the child in Florida.

Every state gives grandparents some type of rights-these can include custody rights or court-mandated visitation rights, for example. Grandparents' rights, however, are a more recent trend and are statutory in nature. In recent years, grandparents have grown increasingly involved in raising grandchildren. Specific state laws dealing with grandparents' rights vary, however, there is a body of federal law requiring states to give what is known as "full faith and credit" to other state's child custody decrees; that states recognize and enforce grandparent visitation orders from other states; and that states where a child resides recognize valid custody orders from another state.

Grandparents' rights are sometimes a controversial family law issue. The Supreme Court has determined some state laws violate the due process rights of parents to raise their children. Because of this, the status of the law can change so it is important for grandparents to inform themselves of any changes and the current status of the law if they are seeking custody or visitation rights.

Family legal issues can be complex and emotional. Because of this, it is especially important to understand them and what to expect from the process.

Source:, "Mother in visitation fight with child's grandparents after husband's murder," Amaka Ubaka, March 27, 2013.

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