Legal Counsel for Grandparent Representation
Having grandchildren is a significant source of fulfillment. A close grandparent-grandchild relationship benefits the health and well-being of both parties. The emotional bond can have lasting positive effects on the life of a child. However, there are family dynamics that can radically impede those close ties. Divorce, remarriage, death of a parent, or complex relationships within the family may find grandparents seeking legal counsel to explore visitation or custody rights.
The Downer Law is an experienced and caring family law firm that understands the importance of grandparent relationships. Let us assess your situation and determine how you may secure grandparent visitation or custody in Florida.
Visitation and Custody Rights
Under Florida law, a grandparent has first consideration for adoption when the parents have lost or given up their parental rights. If both parents are deemed unfit, deceased, incapacitated, or incarcerated, a grandparent may have a claim to custody of a child. However, when a non-relative adopts a child, it terminates all biological grandparents’ rights towards a child.
If a parent prevents visitation, a grandparent has legal recourse to seek court-ordered visitation under limited circumstances. However, as long as the parents allow some visitation, a grandparent cannot file a petition to the court for more visitation time.
When a minor is adjudicated as a dependent child, Florida law recognizes and grants visitation rights to grandparents and step-grandparents for reasonable visitation, unless it is not in the child’s best interests. In dependency cases, when parental custody is restored, court-ordered visitation rights are thereby terminated. When a child is removed from the home and a dependency case is pending, grandparents may request visitation until the situation is resolved.
In divorce cases, a grandparent does not have legal grounds for visitation. Both parents of the child must agree upon visitation. Grandparents can petition the court to request visitation rights in cases of death, incapacitation, or incarceration of both parents. In all cases, the court’s decision is always a function of the child’s best interests.
Determination of Grandparents’ Rights is based on the following:
The Downer Law Offers Legal Assistance for Grandparents
When grandparents petition the court regarding visitation or custody issues, they have the burden of proof. Our law firm will be your voice in advocating your position to a family court judge. We explore the options available so that our clients can meet their goals of maintaining a loving relationship with their grandchildren.
schedule an appointment with an experienced and compassionate grandparents’ rights attorney at our DeLand, Florida office. We represent clients in Volusia, Seminole, and Orange Counties, Florida. We offer innovative solutions to complex legal issues.