What Child Visitation Rights do Grandparents have in Florida?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Family Law on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

As society changes, grandparents may find themselves in unanticipated circumstances with their grandchildren. This may cause grandparents in Florida to wonder what their legal rights are in regards to visitation. Grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights of grandchildren and, in certain circumstances, courts will award reasonable visitation to grandparents when it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

The "best interests of the child" standard guides all child custody and visitation determinations. Whenever the court is considering child custody or visitation, regardless of the parties involved, the court seeks to determine what is in the best interests of the child to ensure both the safety and well-being of the child.

To determine what is in the best interests of the child in response to a petition for grandparents' visitation, the court will consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to the following: the willingness of the grandparents to encourage a close relationship between the child and parents; the mental and physical health of the child; any history of abuse; and several other additional factors that could be relevant to the situation.

Grandparents have both court-mandated custody and visitation rights in certain circumstances. This is most often true when the child's family is no longer intact for a variety of reasons. As grandparents' rights are sometimes a source of controversy and may be a complex and emotional issue, knowledge and understanding of the laws in the relevant state is important for any grandparent seeking visitation of grandchildren.

Source: The 2014 Florida Statutes, "Chapter 752 Grandparental Visitation Rights," Accessed Oct. 27, 2014

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