Grandparents Rights under Florida Law in the Best Interest of the Child?

grandparents rights Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton Custody Lawyer, Jordan Gerber, Esq., Discusses Grandparents Visitation Rights under Florida Family Law

Grandparents rights are a hot topic in Florida. This should hardly come as a surprise. After all, who hasn’t referred to the Sunshine State as ‘heaven’s waiting room’ from time to time? However, unlike the over/under at their weekly Canasta game, there’s no possibility of hitting the jackpot here.

That’s because Florida Family Law puts the kibosh on Grams and Gramps ability to seek legal solutions. Bottom line? There are no grandparents rights when it comes to visitation. However, this wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time Florida Statute granted grandparents standing to file for custody when they shared the same roof.

The court eventually stated that this exception was facially unconstitutional. The basis for this argument lay in that the loophole violated the natural parent’s fundamental right to privacy to raise their children. No matter how delicious their homemade chocolate chip cookies are.

grandparents rights Boca Raton, FLGrandparents Rights in Florida to Visitation vs. Family Law’s Focus on the Best Interest of the Child

It’s especially relevant to note that this privacy right as to child interests can’t be waived. As a result, even if a natural parent enters into a visitation agreement with the child’s grandparent, it’s void. Consequently, a parent has the ability to take away the grandparents rights to visitation at any time. This is especially relevant if the visitation was previously approved by a Palm Beach family court which may seem counter-intuitive.  This is a bright-line rule unless a third party can prove there is a termination of parental rights issue under Florida Statutes Chapter 39.  In conclusion, their rights are extremely limited unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect.

Florida doesn’t have a grandparents court. This means that no matter how close a kid is to his or her MeeMaw or Poppy, if mom and dad don’t approve of the relationship, there will be one less spoiled kid running around Boca Raton. Imagine that.

grandparents rights Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton Child Custody Attorneys, The Law Office of Jordan Gerber, P.A., Explore the Connection between Grandparents Rights to Visitation and the Best Interests of the Child under Florida Family Law

Florida Family Law prides itself on the best interest of the child taking top priority. Octogenarian interest groups raised this point in the hopes that the court would recognize grandparents visitation rights in Florida with their grandchildren. Unfortunately for them, the court ignored this logic for child visitation. Instead stating that it’s up to the parents to decide what is in the best interest of their children.

Again, there is a caveat. If a child’s welfare is in danger, however, there is relief available. Any concerned person can begin a dependency proceeding under Chapter 39 of Florida Statutes or through the Department of Children Families. This is brought as an action for termination of parental rights in dependency court. Additionally, court visitation can be ordered in these proceedings.

grandparents rights Boca Raton, FLSelect Factors in Florida Statute that may Influence Florida Grandparents Rights to Visitation in Dependency Court

  1. The moral fitness of the parents.
  2. Evidence of domestic violence, neglect, or abuse.
  3. Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding domestic violence, abuse, or neglect.

Click  West Palm Beach Child Custody Lawyer today to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County, Florida. Assisting in all matters of Florida Family Law.

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