Visitation right for grandparents in Florida

Florida grandparents who wish to gain visitation rights to see their grandchildren may be interested in the state law regarding the subject. Under Florida law, grandparents may be granted visitation rights after the dissolution of the parents' marriage or desertion of the child. When a grandparent files a petition, the court will grant visitation when it is determined to be in the best interest of the child.

A child's best interests are one of the primary factors used to determine child custody in divorce proceedings. In regards to grandparent's visitation rights, it generally includes the grandparent's willingness to foster a close relationship with the child, the nature of the relationship in the past, and the physical and mental health of both the child and the grandparent. Except in certain circumstances, grandparental visitation rights do not apply to children placed for adoption. Adoption of a child by a stepparent will not affect visitation rights previously granted unless the court determines that those rights are against the best interest of the child.

When there is a dispute concerning the visitation rights of the grandparent, Florida law requires that the dispute be settled by mediation, a process where family members meet together with a neutral party, discuss their disagreements and look for a mutually acceptable solution. In the state of Florida, courts have the right to require mediation whenever a petition is filed.

Laws concerning grandparental rights, like any other laws, may be subject to the interpretation of the courts. A grandparent or great-grandparent who has been denied the right to visit their grandchildren may want to consult with a family law attorney to see what legal remedies are available.

Source: The 2014 Florida Statutes, "CHAPTER 752 GRANDPARENTAL VISITATION RIGHTS", August 13, 2014

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