Grandparents' rights when seeking custody of grandchildren

Sometimes, parents and children do not always see eye to eye. This can be partly due to generational differences and it can also be based on personality differences and other factors. The one thing grandparents and parents can often agree on is their love for the children. However, sometimes disagreements about how to raise and care for a grandchild can cause a rift between parent and child.

The issue may even be as serious as a parent not fulfilling their parental duties in the right ways. The grandparent may worry about the health and wellbeing of a grandchild. Many grandparents wonder if they have any grandparents' rights in these situations.

If a parent is not caring for their child properly, grandparents are a likely candidate as to who could achieve custody of the grandchild. Since grandparents are often the closest next-of-kin, they have a claim if a grandchild needs to be put into a better living situation. Custody of a grandchild could include legal custody, physical custody or both. Custody must be sought in Florida family court and will not be automatically awarded.

Custody may be taken from a parent if they are not acting appropriately or are not caring for the child like they should. The biggest factor in determining child custody decisions is the best interests of the child. A child custody arrangement will put the best interests of the child at the forefront of the custody decision. These decisions may be temporary or more permanent and a change in custody would have to be petitioned in court.

Source:, "Requirements for Awarding Grandparent Visitation and Custody," Accessed May 9, 2017

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