Florida Grandparents' Rights

Children can never have too many positive influences in their lives. Grandparents can have amazing impacts on their grandchildren that last a lifetime. Unfortunately, when parents get divorced or an unmarried couple ends a relationship, grandparents can get pushed out of their grandchildren's lives.

Florida laws mostly protect the decision-making power of parents regarding how much access grandparents have to a grandchild, but there may be circumstances when it makes sense for a grandparent to pursue legal action.

As of July 1, 2015 the law has changed with regards to grandparents' rights. The new law now applies to great grandparents, step grandparents, step great-grandparents instead of just grandparents. In addition, the law now allows a grandparent of a minor child whose parents are deceased, missing, or in a permanent vegetative state, or whose one parent is deceased, missing, or in a permanent vegetative state and whose other parent has been convicted of an violent offense, to petition the court for visitation with the grandchild. The new law also has language with regard to attorney fees, as well as conditions related to the required standard for granting visitation.

At Anderson & Ferrin, Attorneys at Law, P.A., we are well aware of the positive impact that grandparents can have on their grandchildren. If you are wrestling with visitation issues or concerned about the safety or well-being of your grandchildren, we welcome the opportunity to review the facts of the situation and provide a straightforward assessment whether legal action is warranted.

Our Central Florida Family Law Lawyers Will Fight For You

Grandparents often seek visitation in instances where their own child, the parent, does not have frequent visitation with the child or in cases where their own child has died. In considering whether to award time-sharing rights to a grandparent, the court will assess a number of factors to determine if it is in the child's best interest. These include:

  • The relationship between the child and the grandparent or grandparents
  • The amount of time the grandparents spent with the child prior to filing for time-sharing rights
  • The willingness of the grandparent or grandparents to encourage a close relationship between the child and the parent or parents
  • The child's preference if the child is deemed old enough to express it
  • The mental and physical health of the grandparent or grandparents

In some cases, grandparents may petition the court for full custody of a grandchild if it can be shown to the court that the parents are abusive, unfit or creating a dangerous environment for the child.

The laws regarding grandparents' rights are complex and frequently dependent upon the unique facts of each case. Call 407-965-2319 or 888-545-9537, or email us to schedule a free consultation.