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Understanding grandparent visitation rights in Florida

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | FAMILY LAW - Family Law

Grandparents may play an integral role in the lives of their grandchildren, offering love, support and a unique bond. Some grandparents may want to seek legal visitation rights in Florida.

While the state recognizes the importance of the grandparent relationship, it also establishes laws about filing for grandchild visitation.

Circumstances for grandparent visitation

Florida prioritizes the rights of parents to make decisions about their child’s upbringing. That includes the right to determine when children spend time with grandparents. To establish visitation, you must navigate a legal landscape that aims to balance the interests of all parties involved.

In addition, grandparents can file for visitation rights only in certain circumstances. You can take this route as part of the divorce proceedings if the parents end their marriage. You may also petition the court for visitation if one or both parents dies, goes missing or becomes incapacitated.

The best interest standard

To establish visitation, grandparents must show that maintaining a relationship with them is in the child’s best interest. The court will consider factors such as the existing relationship with your grandchild, your emotional and physical well-being and the parental view on grandparent visitation.

Proof of detriment

Grandparents may face legal hurdles, particularly if the child’s parents object. You must provide evidence to the court that denial of visitation would harm the child’s well-being. You can emphasize a history of involvement in the child’s life, a positive influence and the child’s wishes for a relationship.

More than 140,000 children in Florida live with grandparents at least part of the time. If you have concerns about visitation when the parental relationship ends, you may want to pursue this legal pathway.