If your child has gone through a divorce and you are being prevented from seeing your grandchild that you previously had a very close relationship with, you may be able to seek visitation rights.
Florida law provides that a grandparent may file a petition seeking visitation rights if it can be proven that it is in the best interests of the child and one of the following has occurred: (i) the parents’ marriage has dissolved, (ii) one of the parents has deserted the child, or (iii) the child was born out of wedlock.
To determine the best interests of the child, the court will look at several factors. It is important to understand that no single factor is conclusive – the court must consider them all in making its determination:
- The grandparents’ willingness to promote a close relationship between the child and parents
- The quality and length of the relationship between the child and grandparents prior to the divorce
- The preference of the child (if the child is old enough to express a preference)
- The physical and mental health of the child and of the grandparents
- Any other factors the court determines it should consider
It is important to understand that if the child has been adopted by another, the grandparents cannot petition for visitation with the child (unless the adopting parent is a child’s stepparent). If one of the parents objects to a grandparent’s request for visitation rights, you must be prepare to submit evidence to the court that the requested visitation is in the child’s best interests.
If you are a parent, it can be comforting to know that you have the law on your side when it comes to whether a grandparent will be granted visitation rights. For grandparents, it can be difficult to think about not seeing a grandchild that you have cared for over an extended period of time. Whatever your situation, we are here to help.
Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm. Our office is located in Orlando, Florida, but we proudly serve husbands and fathers across the State.