With the holidays right around the corner, families look forward to gatherings and presents and children expect to be spoiled by their grandparents. In today's society, families are dynamic; they grow, shrink, expand and it not uncommon to hear of divorce and remarriage. Once divorce is finalized, families must adjust to changes such as less time with children and accommodating custody and visitation arrangements. Divorce or separation without a doubt disrupts the familial structure that children, parents and extended family members such as grandparents are familiar with.
In today's society, many grandparents play an active role in helping raise their grandchildren. But in spite of their involvement in the upbringing and care of their grandchildren, grandparents' rights are legally limited when it comes to visitation.
The first visual that comes to mind when one thinks of a family is a married couple, children, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. One expects family members to associate with each other at family unions and expects grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren. However, when this image of a happy family is often altered because of divorce, and some grandparents are left wondering what their relationship with their grandparents will be like in the future.
It is important for the emotional and intellectual growth of children to know, associate and have contact with their grandparents. During and potentially after a divorce, contact with grandparents may be limited or completely cut off. Ever since the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a state law which allowed grandparents' visitation if it would be in the best interest of the child, it has been more difficult to argue in favor of it.
Florida Families are dynamic and can be large or small with many cousins or a few, grandparents, uncles and aunts. However, the family dynamic is disrupted during a divorce and negatively impact various relationships particularly those with grandparents'.