Each state has different laws regarding grandparent rights, and Florida
has some of the toughest in the nation. Whether a judge grants visitation
or custody rights depends on the circumstances of your unique case. These
are your rights as a grandparent in Florida.
Visitation rights, against a parent’s wishes, are only granted in
extremely limited circumstances. When a parent cuts off visits, a grandparent
may be entitled to visitation only if:
- The child has been removed from the parent’s custody, and
- Grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interest
Previously, Florida law authorized grandparent visitation when parents
divorced. Now, a parent’s fundamental rights over their children
can’t be overruled unless they are being harmed. For example, if
a child’s mother dies shortly after a divorce and the father prohibits
the maternal grandparent from contacting the child, the courts will refuse
a grandparent’s request for visitation.
Again, only under very limited circumstances is a grandparent able to obtain
custody of a grandchild. A judge could transfer custody to a grandparent
only if it is in the child’s best interest and:
- The parent has been deemed unfit, or
- The parent poses a danger to the child
If a grandparent is awarded visitation rights, they are responsible for
all costs of transportation to parental visits and must work with the
child’s caseworker to arrange visits. A grandparent is not allowed
to arrange visits between the child and their parent; doing so may cost
them their visitation rights. A grandparent may also take temporary custody
if they can prove that temporary placement in their home is better for
the child than being put in a foster home or other institution.
If you are a grandparent trying to get visitation or custody rights, you
need to consult with our
Jacksonville family attorneys at Owenby Law, P.A immediately. We can help collect all the information
you need to improve your chances of a favorable court ruling. Schedule
a free consultation today!
Call (904) 770-3141 or contact us online.