Families today can sometimes seem complicated. Sometimes the children in the home may only share one parent. Or, if it is a blended family, they may be step-siblings. Age gaps can also vary quite a bit. The families of today sometimes do not seem to have much in common with traditional families built generations ago. Because of this, there are family law considerations to keep in mind when it comes to sibling visitation.
Sibling Visitation Is Not Part of the Law Today
Currently, there is not a law in Florida that provides rights for sibling visitation. This includes full biological siblings and other sibling relationships. If an adult sibling desires consistent time with another sibling but is not allowed it, there are at least two possible courses of action. You may petition the court for visitation. You may also attempt mediation with the parents or guardians of the sibling.
Through a court petition, the family will need to show that it is in the best interest of the siblings that they spend time together. This can be a difficult matter to prove, especially if the siblings attempt to file petition on their own without other family members. A family attorney can help strengthen the case.
Using Mediation to Reach a Sibling Visitation Agreement
Instead of petitioning the court, you may use mediation. In mediation the parent (or parents) share with the adult child their reasons for denying time with the sibling in the presence of a mediator if such reasons exist. The sibling who hopes for visitation then shares why they feel they should have time. There may be new information the parents have not heard that may sway them to allow visitation. The mediator helps keep communication open and civil. If an agreement is reached, the mediator assists in devising a schedule for visitation. They also lay out guidelines to ensure safety and a positive relationship.
Let Wagstaff & Pitelis Help You
Whether you are looking to petition the court for sibling visitation and need a family lawyer or want a mediator to mediate sibling visitation requests, Wagstaff and Pitelis can help. As a Largo based family law practice, we help with custody, visitation, divorce and other family law needs throughout Largo, Palm Harbor, Oldsmar, and neighboring communities. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (727) 584-8182.