There are many grandparents in Florida who simply delight in their grandchildren. They dream of the places they can experience together as well as the different activities they can complete. However, even though Florida is often considered the land of retirees (and possibly grandparents by extension), the state has strict laws regarding grandparent visitation and custody.
In 1980, the state passed an amendment that deals with privacy, essentially stating that a person has a right to be free from government interference. This amendment, combined with case law, has shaped the Florida court's mindset. Generally speaking, Florida courts only allow grandparent visitation in cases where it would be considered harmful to the child if visitation or custody is denied.
Currently, a grandparent can sue for custody only under certain conditions such as the divorce of the child’s parents, when a child’s parents are not married at the time of birth or if a child has been abandoned by a parent. Within these circumstances, there are several different factors to consider. These factors include a child's preference and the state of the child-grandchild relationship among others.
Those who are familiar with grandparents' rights in Florida suggest that people who feel they meet one or more of these conditions seek guidance from someone who has experience with state law and similar cases. Many times, such a person can help determine if a person has a legitimate chance of obtaining custody. Additionally, this person can help a grandparent determine what is in the best interest of a child and, potentially, help preserve a relationship.