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What are grandparent’s visitation rights in Florida?

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You’ve always wanted what’s best for your children. Then all of a sudden you’re a grandparent, and something changes. You were excited to be a part of your grandchild’s life, but your adult child has not been allowing you to spend time with them.

Florida may be home to millions of grandparents. However, Florida’s laws about grandparent visitation only allow it under certain circumstances.

Laws concerning grandparents rights

If your children refuse to let you see your grandchildren, you could sue them for visitation rights. This type of lawsuit is also only possible in a few situations.

Grandparents can sue for visitation rights if:

  • The parents of their grandchildren are in a persistent vegetative state, missing or deceased
  • If one parent is in a persistent vegetative state, missing or deceased and the other parent is guilty of a felony or a violent offence and could pose harm to the children’s welfare

Even under these conditions, you as the grandparent must also be able to show there has been extensive harm to the children or prove the parent is unfit.

The best interest of the child

In the case that you have the right to sue your child for visitation, the court considers many factors to determine what’s in the grandchildren’s best interest.

The factors considered by the court include:

  • Are the grandparents willing to encourage the child-parent relationship?
  • The child’s preference if they are old enough to say so
  • The child’s physical and mental wellbeing
  • The grandparent’s physical and mental health
  • The history of the child-grandparent relationship

The importance of privacy

Florida’s stance on privacy allows for parents to control who they bring into their children’s lives. Requests by grandparents for visitation rights have often been interpreted as encroaching on parental privacy.

If you are looking to become a part of your grandchildren’s lives, there are circumstances that can allow this to happen. Florida presents a number of circumstances where it would be possible for you to have visitation rights.

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