Grandparents Rights in Florida
For most grandparents, spending time with a grandchild is fulfilling and fun. For most children, grandparents offer different perspectives, different interests, and a different type of guidance than their parents provide. When a couple with children divorces, the children’s relationships with their grandparents can be affected.
In some cases, there is nothing a grandparent can do to require the court to support a relationship between him and her and the grandchild through a timesharing order. In others, the grandparent does have this right and can have his or her relationship with the child protected by the court. It all comes down to the specific details of the case.
What are my Rights to my Grandchild?
In Florida, in most case, grandparents do not have rights when it comes to court ordered visitation with a grandchild. Your relationship with your grandchild is typically at the parents’ discretion.
In cases where both of the child’s parents are deceased, missing, or in a vegetative state, a grandparent has the right to legally establish a visitation schedule with the child. The grandparent also has this right if one parent is deceased, in a vegetative state, or missing and the other has certain criminal history or other issue that poses a danger to the child’s wellbeing.
Can I Adopt my Grandchild?
To adopt your grandchild, the child’s parents must either voluntarily terminate their parental rights or have them terminated by the court. This process is similar to a stepparent adoption. Once a grandparent adopts his or her grandchild, he or she becomes the child’s legal guardian and has all the same rights that a parent would have.
What Does the Court Consider when Making Determinations About Grandparent/Grandchild Relationships?
Like every other court decision involving children, the child’s best interest is what drives a grandparent rights case.
Otherwise, factors like your daily involvement in your grandchild’s life, any health conditions or other issues in your life that can potentially impact your relationship with your grandchild, your willingness to foster a positive relationship between the child and his or her parents, and the child’s personal needs. One of the most important considerations the court makes when determining a grandparent visitation schedule is whether having such a schedule would harm the child’s relationship with his or her parents.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Family Lawyer
In Florida, grandparents do have rights to their grandchildren in certain cases. Be an advocate for yourself and your rights by working with an experienced family lawyer to exercise these rights. To learn more, contact our team of Orlando family lawyers at Goodblatt-Leo to set up your initial consultation in our office. During your consultation, we can go over the details of your case to determine how best to express and protect your rights to your grandchild.