Florida Grandparents And Visitation
Family changes, such as divorce or death, upset familial relationships. There are situations in which a Florida grandparent may no longer be able to spend time with their grandchildren as often as they did in the past. If this is true for you, you may wonder if there is a legal way to establish a visitation schedule with your grandchildren.
Grandparent rights vary from state to state. In Florida, it is rare for visitation rights to be established if it is against the wishes of the custodial parent. To have your unique situation reviewed by a legal professional, make an appointment with a seasoned Tampa family lawyer to learn about avenues forward.
Parents Have Fundamental Rights In Florida
When disputes have gone to court, Florida has upheld the fundamental rights of parents. This means that parents are able to decide what is best for their children, and there is minimal availability for government or court intervention. Because of this, it is up to a child’s parent if the child should have contact with their grandparents and if so, how often. Because of this, it is extremely difficult for grandmothers or grandfathers to access visits if a parent decides they do not want their children visiting with their grandparents.
But there are exceptions. If a child was removed from their parental home, there are legal avenues for grandparents to be awarded visitation rights. When this happens, a grandparent is required to make the necessary arrangements with the child’s caseworker. This is what could happen if a child is in the Florida foster care system, for example.
When foster care is part of the discussion, it also may be possible for a grandparent to be granted temporary custody under Florida law. For this to happen, there needs to be evidence that living temporarily with the grandparent would be a better option for the child than being placed in foster care.
Reducing Tension Through Discussion
Because parents, in the majority of situations, have a fundamental right to decide what is best for their kids in the state of Florida, grandparents pursuing an agreement with the parents could be optimal. That said, it may not lead to the resolution the grandparents were hoping to achieve.
Share your objectives with an experienced Tampa family lawyer to learn what is possible. If your child, your grandchild’s parent, is in the process of drafting a divorce agreement with their soon-to-be-ex spouse, it may be possible to include language in that agreement about when kids will be spending time with their grandparents. While it may not be as often as you’d like, say for a holiday or two a year rather than every weekend, it will still allow you to make some memories with your grandchildren while they are young.
Are you upset because a family change has resulted in you spending less time with your grandchildren? While parents have fundamental rights in Florida, there may be another resolution to explore. Share your story with the legal team at Blair H. Chan, III. To schedule your consultation, call 813-280-5301.