Your Rights As A Grandparent

Serving Families Throughout Palm Beach Gardens

When making child custody decisions, courts throughout the United States, including Florida, always look to protect the best interests of the child. Although in a vast majority of cases the courts award custody to a parent, or both parents when shared custody is awarded, there still are unique situations that may allow grandparents or great grandparents to seek and obtain custody of the children.

In tragic situations where one or both parents have been killed, go missing or remain in a “persistent vegetative state” grandparents may seek custody. Additionally, if one parent is killed, missing or in a vegetative state and the other parent has personal issues that may cause harm to a child the grandparents may obtain custodial rights. These conditions include a parent who has been found guilty 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.”

The courts do understand the importance that grandparents may play in the lives of their grandchildren. There are several factors that go into consideration when the courts make their decision. The courts will look at the emotional ties such as love and affection between the grandparents and the children, as well as the history of the relationship between the children and the grandparent. This will include how much time each side has shared in the past. They will also look to see whether the grandchildren received emotional support from the grandparents throughout the child’s life.

Such a decision is vitally important in protecting the welfare and upbringing of a child, but may be best for all parties involved, if the situation is right. You may want to reach out to a family law firm familiar with child custody to see how to proceed in obtaining custody for your grandchild.

Source: Online Sunshine, “The 2016 Florida Statutes: Grandparental Visitation Rights,” Accessed May 2, 2017

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John Schutz

John Schutz

Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.

Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.

John Schutz

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