South Tampa Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
Tampa Family Lawyer Fights for the Rights of Grandparents
Family matters are emotional and challenging to navigate, and one group of people who are often affected by family matters–yet rarely mentioned–are grandparents. Grandparents love their grandchildren and want an opportunity to spend as much time with their grandchildren as possible. But parents are not always eager to involve grandparents in the child-rearing process, especially when a couple is divorced. Unfortunately, Florida law provides very few protections for grandparents in the state.
When Can a Grandparent Petition for Visitation with a Grandchild in South Florida?
The law in Florida does little to uphold the rights of grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren when parents deny visitation. To be sure, Florida Statute Section 752.011 Petition for Grandparent Visitation with a Minor Child explains that a grandparent may only petition for visitation when parents are:
- In a persistent vegetative state; or
- When one parent is deceased, missing, or in a vegetative state and the other parent has been convicted of a felony or an offense of violence.
Suing for Visitation
If a grandparent wants to have visitation rights when their grandchild and any of the above factors are true, they can file a lawsuit. Whether or not the court will actually award visitation is dependent upon the best interests of the child, which are determined by weighing a number of factors, including the willingness of the grandparents to encourage a healthy relationship between the child and any surviving parent, and the relationship that the child has with the grandparent.
Grandparent Custody and Adoption
In some cases, a grandparent who is caring for a grandchild may be able to seek custody or adoption of that grandchild. Grandparent adoption is permitted when parents’ rights have been terminated or the parents have died and the child has been living with the grandparent for at least six months. Grandparent adoption is not possible when the parents have died and the parents’ will specifies a different preference for custody/guardianship/adoption.
What Can I Do If I Am Being Denied Visitation with My Grandchild in Tampa?
Unfortunately, if one or both parents of a child are denying you the right to spend time with your grandchild, you have very little legal recourse unless one of the above conditions applies. If one of the above conditions does apply, our experienced Florida family law attorney at the Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A. can help you to bring forth a suit in family court.
If one of the conditions does not apply, we urge you and your grandchild’s parents to work together to find a solution. We recommend family counseling or mediation in order to reach an agreement that all parties can live with. If these efforts are ineffective, we are happy to review your case. However, remember that unless you have legal grounds for seeking custody, there is little that can be done.
If you have more questions about grandparents’ rights in Florida, please contact our law offices today. We are here to answer your questions accurately.