Florida Family Law – Grandparent Rights
In this age, families are made up of all types of situations and individuals. Most Family Law cases focus on the child-parent relationship. In fact, even custody rights currently being duked out in the State of Florida are limited to the rights of parents. Some may argue that the rights of children are being ignored.
One group of individuals that are often ignored are the grandparents. Many children have been single handedly raised by grandparents even when both parents are in the picture. When parents divorce the grandparents are often left with little to no time with the children. In some cases, parents use this as a type of manipulation and punishment against the family of the other severed partner.
In Florida, there are avenues that a grandparent can take. The courts have several factors for determining visitation rights for grandparents. The rights start when one of three conditions have been met; the dissolution of the parents marriage, the child has been deserted by a parent, or the child was born out of wedlock and the parents never marry.
Once this condition has been met, the courts will use many factors in determining a visitation ruling for the grandparent(s). First and foremost, the courts main concern is what is in the best interest of the child(ren). There is no one factor that the courts will use. Each case is looked at individually. Some of these include but are not limited to; the physical/mental health of the grandparent and or the child, the child’s preference should they be of age, the time the grandparent spent with the child prior to the request for visitation, the quality and longevity of the relationship between child and grandparents, and the attitude of the grandparents in relation to continually nurturing a relationship with the child and his or her parents.