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Do grandparents have rights for visitation?

In a divorce, often family relationships become frayed. And if you have grandchildren, you might be concerned how you will keep a relationship strong with them, especially if your son won’t be splitting time equally with their mother. You might be wondering what rights you will have for visitation with your grandchildren. What if your son and his former wife don't have a civil relationship after the divorce?

Grandparent visitation rights

Most often, courts leave it to parents to decide how much time their child is spending with their grandparents. This precedent was set by an U.S. Supreme Court ruling in which the court gave parents the priority in resolving visitation disputes. If a parent agrees, children can spend time with their grandparents, even being in their sole custody.

Unless there is a serious legal reason why your grandchildren shouldn’t be spending time with you, most likely the court will not interfere with your visits with them during your son’s parenting time. Overall, that is in what the court considers the children’s best interests.

Court exceptions

Florida courts will hear grandparent visitation cases in certain cases though. These include if both the child’s parents are:

  • deceased
  • missing
  • in a persistent vegetative state

Or if one parent is deceased, missing or in a vegetative state and the other parent has a violent felony conviction, then again, the court can award grandparent visitation rights.

In most cases, the best solution for your child is to continue their relationship you. However, if you have a serious concern about grandparent visitation, you should consult an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you know what you might need to do to show the court your grandchild would be harmed if you were no longer in their life.

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