Mother of murder suspect gets visitation with grandchild

The family of a Florida woman who was shot in front of her toddler recently learned learned that a court granted the paternal grandmother visitation rights. The family of the slain woman indicated that the accused had a long history of stalking and domestic abuse, and they were hoping to terminate his parental rights. The father of the toddler is facing first-degree murder charges and if convicted, could face the death penalty. The victim's family indicated that the woman wanted her sister to raise the raise toddler if something were to happen to her.

Despite these claims, the court did in fact grant visitation to the paternal grandmother -- the mother of the accused. The grandmother will have additional visitation with the 2-year-old child, and she is hoping to adopt her grandson and eventually take custody of the child.

Ever since the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a state law in 2000 which gave grandparents visitation, it has become increasingly difficult for grandparents to get visitation with their grandchildren. In fact, the Florida Supreme Court on several occasions has ruled against grandparents' visitation as unconstitutional. However, a recent bill introduced in Florida's house hopes to grant grandparents more visitation with their grandchildren. The bill is not law yet.

While it is important for children to have a healthy relationship with their grandparents, issues surrounding child custody and visitation can get emotional and overwhelm both sides of the family. Thus, it may be helpful for families and grandparents embroiled in a custody and visitation battle to seek the legal advice of an expert in this area of law.

Source: WESH, "Murder suspect's mother granted more visitation with child," Jan. 9, 2013

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