As a family law firm, we are often asked about grandparent rights. As much as studies show that children who spend time with their grandparents are better behaved and happier overall, that is not true in all situations. Sometimes grandparents are not loving or accepting, or shame children who do not behave as they expect. In other cases, they are abusive or addicts. As a parent, you have the right to keep your children from seeing their grandparents or other toxic family members.
But What About the Grandparent’s Law?
In 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis passed a law expanding grandparent rights. However, this law is commonly misunderstood. It does not guarantee all grandparents time with their grandchildren. In fact, it does not apply in most situations. This new law (HB-1119), expands the rights of grandparents when one or more of the child’s biological parents are deceased or incapable of parenting for some reason. Even if this is a situation in your family, it does not guarantee the grandparents custody or visitation. It must be in the child’s best interest to spend time with the grandparent(s) before a judge will enforce Grandparent Visitation Rights.
What You Can Do
If you are in a situation where your child’s other biological parent is deceased or unable to be a parent and the grandparents want visitation, but you do not want them to have it, you do have some options. Your best course of action is to work with a family law firm. Your attorney will help you gather information that will demonstrate to a judge why it is not in your child’s best interest to spend time with their grandparent.
Let Wagstaff & Pitelis Help
Guilt is a powerful thing. It can be used to manipulate you and your loved ones. If you truly believe that your child’s mental or physical well-being would be at risk if they spent time with a toxic family member, do not be guilted into allowing them visitation. The family law firm of Wagstaff & Pitelis can help you fight any petition filed in Pinellas County. If you have questions about grandparent rights or other family member rights, we can help answer those as well. Call us today (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form for your initial consultation.