Grandparents' Rights Attorneys
in Tallahassee, Florida

According to recent statistics from GrandFacts, approximately 342,268 children less than 18 years of age in Florida live with their grandparents. In many families across Florida, grandparents play an integral role in the upbringing of their grandchildren. Whether by assisting with raising their grandkids or spending quality time with them. 

Regardless of the exact nature of their role, the relationship between grandchildren and their grandparents is often irreplaceable. However, if a parent dies or if the child’s parents divorce or otherwise abandon the children, the grandparents may be uncertain about their child custody or visitation rights.

If you are a grandparent in Florida seeking custody or visitation rights with your grandchildren, consulting with an experienced Florida family law attorney is the best way for you to learn how to assert your rights. At Fournier Law, our dedicated family law attorneys are committed to offering comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy in matters related to grandparents' rights. Whether you are looking to establish child custody or a visitation schedule, we will fight diligently and compassionately for the best interests of both you and your grandchildren.

Fournier Law proudly serves clients throughout Tallahassee, North Florida, Big Bend, and the surrounding counties and communities.

Grandparents' Rights in Florida

As you may already know, a grandparent is defined by the law as any parent of a minor child's parent. Under Florida law, grandparents do not have visitation rights in divorce cases unless the divorcing parents agree to the visitation. However, grandparents are allowed to request visitation when:

  • One or both parents are deceased, missing, in a vegetative state, or convicted of a criminal offense.
  • The grandchild is considered dependent and has been removed from the parent's physical custody.

Also, a grandparent can seek to terminate the biological parent's parental rights and adopt the grandchild when the parents have abused, neglected, or abandoned the child (their grandchild).

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Understanding Visitation for Grandparents

Under Florida law, a grandparent will only be entitled to file for visitation rights when the child has been removed from the parent's custody and grandparent visitation is considered to be in the child's best interests. Pursuant to Florida Statutes section 752.011,

"A grandparent of a minor child whose parents are deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state, or whose one parent is deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state and whose other parent has been convicted of a felony or an offense of violence evincing behavior that poses a substantial threat of harm to the minor child's health or welfare, may petition the court for court-ordered visitation with the grandchild under this section."

Factors Considered by The Court

The following factors may be considered by the court when determining whether visitation will be in the best interest of the child:

  • The child's reasonable preference, if he or she is old enough
  • The grandparents' willingness to encourage a close relationship and interaction between the parents and child
  • The child's physical and mental health
  • The grandparents' physical and mental health
  • The nature of the relationship between the child and grandparents before the divorce
  • Other factors considered necessary by the judge

How Parents Losing Their Rights Can Affect Visitation

Under Florida law, when parents have lost their parental rights, a grandparent may have the first priority for adoption. Also, grandparents can retain visitation rights if the child has been taken from the physical custody of the parent's home and adjudicated a dependent of the state (Florida Statutes section 39.509).

Florida law allows a grandparent to take temporary custody of their grandchild if they can show that the temporary placement with them will be better for the child than being placed in a foster care facility. Some factors that will be considered by the court to grant grandparent custody include:

  • The child's reasonable preference
  • The ability of the grandparents to care for the child's daily needs
  • The emotional relationship between the grandparents and child
  • The child's school and other records
  • The grandparent's willingness to allow the child to continue a relationship with the parents
  • The effect the change will have on the child
  • The stability of the proposed home
  • The physical health, mental state, and moral fitness of the grandparents
  • Any history of violence, child abuse, or neglect

Work With an Experienced Attorney

As a grandparent in Florida, filing for visitation or custody often involves a lot of complex legal procedure. Regardless, Florida law does allow for grandparents to petition for child custody or visitation if one or both parents are deceased, missing, in a vegetative state, or convicted of a criminal offense. An experienced Florida grandparents' rights attorney can provide you with all of the guidance and legal support you need to help you pursue all possible options.

At Fournier Law, our attorneys have dedicated their careers to offering reliable legal services and comprehensive guidance to clients in a variety of different family law-related matters, including grandparents' rights cases. Whether you are trying to establish child custody or a visitation schedule, our team will fight passionately and diligently for the best interests of both you and your grandchild. If you or someone you know wishes to learn more about their rights as a grandparent, call or reach out to our firm today to schedule a consultation.

Grandparents' Rights Attorneys Serving Tallahassee, Florida

If you are trying to better understand your rights as a grandparent in Florida, call Fournier Law today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Our attorneys will offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need to navigate critical decisions. Our firm is also proud to serve clients throughout Tallahassee, North Florida, Big Bend, and the surrounding counties.