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As a grandparent, when can you seek visitation or custody?

Florida grandparents seeking custody or visitation of their grandchildren know that they have a challenging task ahead of them. Grandparent rights are a complex and difficult legal issue, and often, there are many complications standing between them and their goal of having a significant role in the life of their grandkids. 

If you are a grandparent and you believe that it is appropriate to seek either regular visitation or custody rights of your grandchildren, it is prudent not to attempt to walk through this process alone. You have the right to learn more about your options and understand how the courts determine what is in the best interests of a child.

What is best for the kids? 

The ultimate goal of any custody order is to protect the best interests of the child above all else. In many cases, the courts will recognize the rights of grandparents, at least to a certain extent, if it clearly benefits the children affected by the custody and visitation order. Grandparents play an active role in the lives of their grandkids, and regular access is often not only appropriate, but also beneficial. When seeking visitation, courts typically consider the following:

  • The marital status of the parents
  • Any reason why one or both parents would prohibit grandparent access
  • The presence of one or both parents in the kids' lives
  • The strength of the existing relationship between grandkids and grandparents

In some cases, grandparents may feel it is best to seek custody of their grandkids. In these situations, courts generally consider the following:

  • The marital status and presence of one or both parents
  • Whether or not one or both parents are still living
  • The strength and status of the existing relationship between the grandkids and grandparents
  • The wishes of any living and active biological parent

    Custody issues are complex, particularly in matters in which parents and grandparents are at odds over what is best for the grandkids. If you think you have grounds to move forward with your pursuit of either visitation or custody, you will find it helpful to seek guidance, support and a better understanding of how custody works in Florida.

    Support from the very beginning

    Grandparents are important people in the lives of young children. A court may recognize the need of your grandchildren to have regular access and the security of a strong relationship with extended family members. You may find great benefit in having support as you seek a reasonable and satisfactory outcome to your legal concerns.

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