Florida is home to millions of grandparents but most of them do not have legal visitation rights of their grandchildren. However, Governor Rick Scott recently signed legislature to expand grandparent visitation to a specific group of children, those whose parents are both deceased, missing or in a persistent vegetative state or if one of the parents falls into one of these categories and the other is a convicted felon. It only applies if the children reside in Florida so if the children move or relocate out of the state of Florida grandparents are no longer protected under Florida law. Otherwise the State of Florida believes that parents have the right to determine who visits their children regardless of the relationship with the child. This is heartbreaking to grandparents whose grandchildren may have lived under their roof since infancy but did not have legal custody of the child. Many feel they have to walk on egg shells to prevent retaliation from the surviving parent.
Grandparents are able to petition the court for custody if the family home is deemed unsafe and parents are declared unfit as this kind of grandparent/extended family care has become a greater concern and need in Florida, especially with the growing population of grandparents residing in the state.
In all cases, the courts will decide on visitation and custody cases based on the best interest of the child. This includes the willingness of the grandparents to encourage a relationship between the child and parents, the quality and length of relationship between the grandparent and child and the mental and physical health of the child and grandparent.
Every grandparent visitation case in Florida is unique and consulting an experienced family law attorney is a great first step. Ronald A. Luzim first learns and understands the unique needs of each client and then offers personal service appropriate to each case. He is a former estate and tax attorney with the IRS, has been practicing law since 1974 and specializes not only in estate planning and real estate but also is a Coral Springs family lawyer, Coral Springs probate lawyer and Coral Springs bankruptcy lawyer. In addition as a practicing state certified mediator, Ronald brings experience, expertise and empathy to your legal matter. Please contact his Coral Springs office at 954-755-1500 for assistance in protecting yourself, family and property.
There is no substitute for experience.