Tampa Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
When it comes to child custody and visitation, the law tends to focus on the parents and their legal rights. However, grandparents are often overlooked, even though many play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren.
Things get complicated when the parents get divorced or one parent dies. In these cases, one or both sets of grandparents may be unable to visit with their grandchildren. Do grandparents have any legal rights in this situation? What can they do to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren?
Unfortunately, Florida has one of the strictest policies regarding grandparents’ rights in the country. Seek legal help from Westchase Law to understand your rights and options. Our knowledgeable Tampa grandparents’ & extended family members’ rights lawyers can give you the legal advice you need to maintain a bond with your beloved grandchildren.
Florida courts focus on the rights of the parents, so judges will generally side with the parents on matters relating to grandparent visitation and custody. Therefore, parents get to decide what is in the best interests of their children. Therefore, if a parent decides that they do not want their child to have contact with grandparents, the court will generally honor the parent’s wishes. This can be frustrating for grandparents who desire to visit with their grandchildren
While Florida law may seem bleak for grandparents, it does allow them to retain visitation rights if a child has been removed from the parent’s home. However, the court must find that the child’s relationship with the grandparents is in the best interest of the child. For example, if a grandparent has a criminal record or has neglected or abused the grandchild in the past, then the court may withhold visitation rights.
If a child has been removed from their parents and the grandparent is awarded visitation rights for that child, the grandparents will be responsible for all transportation costs related to visits. They must also work with the child’s caseworker to arrange these visits; they cannot arrange a visit with the child and the child’s parent.
Florida law also allows a grandparent to take temporary custody of the child in limited circumstances. The grandparent will have to prove that, if a child is removed from their parent’s home, that temporary placement in the grandparent’s home will be better for the child than placement in a foster home or other facility. This is a major decision, and Florida courts weigh these decisions very carefully to make sure the relationship between the child and parent is not threatened. So while grandparent visitation and custody rights may be difficult, they are not impossible.
Contact Westchase Law Today
Parents have the most rights when it comes to their own children, and grandparents can sometimes get excluded when a divorce or death occurs. This can be a highly emotional situation.
Understand your legal rights with help from Westchase Law. Contact us today to learn more about the process. Schedule a consultation today by calling our Tampa grandparents’ & extended family members’ rights attorneys at 813-490-5211.