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Grandparents’ Rights To Children In Custody Matters

When a couple divorces, often times it requires significant negotiation to make a custody arrangement that both parties are happy with. There’s the consideration of who the child or children will reside with, how often the non-custodial parent will get visitation, how and when each parent will get to see the children over holidays and school breaks. These are complicated matters, and often require the help of lawyers and mediators in settling them. What about grandparents? Oftentimes, there is a close and loving bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. A grandparent’s right to visitation with grandchildren is often overlooked in these kinds of cases. In other situations, a grandparent may actually be the one caring for their grandchild, because the parent either won’t or can’t. Here’s what you need to know regarding the rights of grandparent to visit with – and in certain cases, to get custody of – grandchildren.

Grandparents’ Rights To Visitation

Unlike some other states, Florida grandparents do have rights in terms of gaining court ordered visitation with their grandchildren. Under the Florida State Statutes, Section 752.01, grandparents can petition the court for the right to visitation if it is in the best interests of the child. Circumstances in which grandparents may get visitation include when the parents’ marriage has been dissolved, one of the parents has deserted the child, or the minor child was born out of wedlock. The court will consider the following factors in awarding a grandparent visitation:

  • The willingness of the grandparents to encourage a close relationship between a child and his or her parents;
  • The length and quality of the prior relationship between the grandparent and grandchild;
  • The mental and physical health of the grandparents;
  • The mental and physical health of the grandchild; and
  • The wishes of the grandchild, in terms of the desire to see his or her grandparents.

Grandparents’ Rights Regarding Custody of Grandchildren

It is not uncommon today to see grandparents assume the role of primary caregiver for their grandchildren. In fact, Florida has one of the highest percentages in the nation for children living with grandparents. Under Florida law, there are several options for grandparents seeking custody of grandchildren. These include:

  • Physical custody;
  • Temporary legal custody;
  • Long term legal custody;
  • Guardianship; and
  • Adoption.

Determining which method of obtaining custody is right in a particular case depends on the circumstances surrounding the situation, the amount of legal authority required by the grandparents, and the amount of input and involvement there will be with the actual parents of the child.

Contact Our Experienced Florida Child Custody Lawyer

Custody disputes can be a painful, confusing time for a family. If you or someone you love is involved in this type of dispute, contact our experienced Florida child custody lawyer. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we serve all the entire Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties,. Our lawyers and staff fight for the rights of grandparents, providing the comprehensive legal service you deserve. Call us at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation today.

The Law Office of William E. Raikes III is located in Fort Pierce, FL and serves clients in and around the communities of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and Vero Beach.

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