If a grandparent is awarded visitation, what are the rules?

Florida grandparents may be awarded legal visitation rights if they are unable to work the issues out with the parents directly. When the court becomes involved in a grandparents' rights case, there are certain rules that must be followed by the grandparents and the child's parents or legal guardians.

Once a grandparent has been awarded visitation of their grandchild, a caseworker will be responsible for arranging the visits per court order. The visits may take place at the grandparent's home, but the grandparent is responsible for any transportation costs associated with the visits. If a grandparent attempts to arrange a visit with the grandchild or the child's parents in violation of a court order, the grandparents' visitation rights will be automatically terminated.

During visits, a grandparent is not restricted from showing affection to their grandchild with appropriate hugs and kisses. The grandparent is also not restricted from giving letters, cards or gifts to the grandchild. Parents are not allowed to return any gifts or letters sent from a grandparent to their grandchild after the grandparent has been granted visitation rights. If parental rights are terminated, the grandparent's rights will not be affected unless the court finds that the previously ordered visitation schedule is no longer in the child's best interests.

A grandparent may decide to petition the court for the right to visit their grandchild if the child's parents have ceased all communication with them. Every grandparents' rights case will be different, but grandparents who are going through the court in order to see their grandchildren may decide to enlist legal representation to improve their chances of success.

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