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Do grandparents in Florida have visitation rights?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2020 | Blog |

As a Florida grandparent, you may value any time you spend with your grandson or granddaughter, and it may unnerve you if anything threatens the relationship that exists between you. If your child is not married to your grandchild’s other parent, or if the child’s parents have major conflicts, it may hinder your ability to spend time with your grandchild. 

If this occurs, it may leave you wondering whether you have any legal recourse or grounds to request visitation. Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature reports that there is no single, all-encompassing answer to this question. However, you may be able to obtain visitation rights over your grandchild in limited circumstances. 

Grounds for requesting visitation 

You may be able to ask for visitation with your grandchild under three specific circumstances. First, you may do so if both of your grandchild’s parents are violent criminals, are in vegetative states or have passed away. 

Second, you may be able to seek visitation rights if Florida courts removed your grandchild from his or her parents’ custody and then deemed the child dependent. Third, you may be able to secure rights over your grandson or granddaughter if evidence shows that both parents abused, abandoned or neglected the child. In this scenario, you would have to terminate the rights of the child’s parents and adopt him or her yourself. 

Time restrictions for requesting visitation 

As a grandparent, you may request formal visitation rights over your grandchild once within a two-year period. The only possible exception to this would be if your grandchild is suffering or experiencing emotional harm by not spending time with you. Under these circumstances, you must show that you were not aware of the suffering when you initially requested visitation.