Posted On Behalf Of Shazia Sparkman On Tuesday, February 17th, 2020
The Right Of Visitation
Grandparents and other extended family members like aunts and uncles can be a source of support and love. Despite the importance of this bond, it can be difficult for grandparents to maintain a connection with a child caught in the middle of family legal matters. Here’s what you can do to petition for visitation rights in Florida.
Past Cases of Grandparent Visitation
Before 1965, if parents objected to the visitation of a grandparent, courts would typically uphold their decision. Unfortunately, this meant that a source of caring, stable support in the child’s life could be removed if the parents deemed it necessary. Often, this was used as a manipulation tool by adult children seeking to exert control over a family matter.
Current Cases of Grandparent Visitation
Now, the U.S. has passed legislation that enables grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights, whether the child’s parents agree or not. Other close family members may also be granted this right on a case by case basis, such as older siblings, aunts and uncles, etc. Third parties are not automatically granted visitation but instead, simply have the right to bring their case forward to be decided upon by a judge.
When Do Courts Grant Visitation Rights to Grandparents?
Most often, a grandparent or other related third party can petition for the right to visitation after parents get a divorce or if one parent is incarcerated or passes away. Occasionally, a third party can be awarded visitation rights if the child has previously lived with them part or full-time, or if the child was born to unmarried parents. If substance abuse or domestic violence is part of the equation, third parties may be awarded visitation rights outside of these circumstances.
How Can a Grandparent Petition for Visitation?
A Petition for Grandparent Visitation is a form you can obtain from your local court and fill out with information about your case. Once filed with the appropriate office, your hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, the judge will review your case and make a decision to award visitation or not. If the child’s parent(s) contests the visitation petition, this can complicate matters.
Call an Experienced Family Lawyer Today
If you are the grandparent, aunt, uncle, or other extended family members of a child and want to obtain visitation rights, you’ll need the help of a family law attorney. Your attorney can help you fill out legal forms and represent you at visitation hearings to strengthen your case. Call Shazia Sparkman now for a consultation at 813-374-2000