The bond between a grandparent and grandchild is a special connection that can get complicated when parents become separated or divorced. In many cases, grandparents and extended family such as aunts, uncles and cousins can find themselves wrapped in the turmoil. In an ideal situation, the children would maintain the relationships with their extended family, while in others, it can get downright ugly.
In Florida, grandparents have the right to formally request visitation, however, it isn’t necessarily always granted. Typically, the courts will take into consideration a variety of factors:
- Is it in the best interest of the child?
- Was the relationship established before the separation/divorce or is there concern about the intentions of the grandparent?
- What are the concerns of each parent in regard to the relationship with the grandparent?
Historically, Florida statutes have leaned in favor of court-ordered grandparent visitation when limited to situations where the parent(s) are deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state; or when a parent has been convicted of a felony and the child’s welfare may be at risk.
Most families going through separation/divorce are perfectly capable of maintaining some form of normalcy for the children when it comes to the relationships with extended family. Parents have a universal right to object to grandparent visitation, even when it seems both parties are amicable and the proceedings are moving along accordingly. It can be challenging for the grandparents to watch their children in this situation, while trying to keep a relationship with the grandchildren involved.
Depending on your circumstances, it may be beneficial to have legal counsel before embarking down this path. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We are happy to help!