Although the State of Florida strives to ensure that primary custody of minor children remains with the parents, that is not always possible. In cases where a parent is deceased or not able to parent, grandparents can be granted visitation or custody of the minor children. This process requires the help of a skilled family law attorney.
When Can a Grandparent Request Custody?
Those involved in a divorce or custody issue often hear the expression “in the best interest of the child” at some point, usually multiple times. Because the state does try to ensure that minor children are in the safest place for both their physical and mental well-being, there are situations where a grandparent may file for custody keeping the best interest of the child in mind. Here are a few examples.
- If your adult child, the parent of your grandchildren, is deceased and you have evidence that the other parent has an addiction or has previously abused the children
- During deployment of the primary custodial parent, that parent may designate their mother and/or father in their place if the deployment is over 90 days
- When both parents are unfit or unable to provide the child with a stable home environment
A family law attorney may be able to help if your situation falls into something similar to these examples. Remember: having written, photographic or video proof of your claims will help should the safety of the child or children be at stake. We recommend documenting as much as possible beginning the moment you realize the wellbeing of your grandchildren is at risk.
Do Grandparents Have the Right to Visitation?
No, they do not. Even if you were highly involved with your grandchildren prior to a divorce or death of your adult child, visitation rights are not a given. The parent with custody does not have to allow you to see the children. Like everything else regarding child visitation and custody, there may be instances where the court would recommend visitation. For example, let us assume the children were living in a multi-generational home prior to the parent’s death or incapacitation. A judge could decide to grant visitation on a temporary basis to ease the transition.
Wagstaff Law Office Can Help
When you need a family law attorney, turn to Wagstaff Law Office. Our attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of family law. We may be able to help you in your pursuit of custody or visitation of your grandchildren. Call (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form today.