Events like the death of a parent or a divorce affect more than just the parents and children of families. They can also affect grandparents and their ability to see their grandchildren. There are several cases where grandparents can push for visitation rights. There are some rules about how you can get grandparents visitation rights in the state of Florida.
Supreme Court Ruling
In the late 90s, the Supreme Court heard a case of grandparents’ rights. They determined in a 6-3 vote that the grandparents’ right to visitation could not take precedence over the parents’ wishes. There were six different judges who voted in favor of the parents, with six different reasons and six different written opinions. This has made the decision difficult for states to interpret. Many states, including Florida, have enacted tighter grandparents’ rights laws based on this supreme court ruling.
Florida Law on Grandparents’ Rights
In 2015, the state of Florida enacted legislation that severely limits the situations in which a grandparent can sue for grandparents’ rights. There are really only two situations in which you can sue for visitation rights in Florida.
The first way that you can sue for grandparents’ visitation rights is if both parents are deceased or in a vegetative state. The other way you can pursue grandparents’ rights is if one parent is deceased or in a vegetative state and the other parent has been convicted of a felony or violent crime that would put the child in danger. In short, the only way to get visitation rights as a grandparent in Florida is if both parents are found unfit to care for the child on their own.
The Three Conditions
Even if you meet the requirements for filing for grandparents’ rights in Florida, you may not get visitation granted. Any visitation granted to grandparents in the state must meet three conditions. The parents must be found unfit, the visitation must be found in the best interests of the child, and the visitation schedule of the grandparents cannot affect the parent child relationship.
If you are a grandparent who has been denied access to your grandchild, we may be able to help. If you believe that you may fall under the qualifications of suing for visitation rights, contact our offices today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can handle your case.