What Are Your Rights as a Grandparent?

What Are Your Rights as a Grandparent?

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

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.

Custody Rights

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 initial consultation today!

Call (904) 770-3141 or contact us online.


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