Florida has an aggressive stance when it comes to protecting the privacy of its residents. As a grandparent, this means that you have no legal rights when it comes to developing or maintaining a relationship with your grandchildren if the parents deny you access. At the Law Office of Philip J. Schipani, we often represent clients who want visitation rights with their grandkids.
LiveAbout reports that if the family is intact, parents should be free from intrusion into their personal lives, and that includes telling them who can visit their children. There is similar protection given to families that are not intact if there is no harm to the child. The court considers a long list of factors before they order grandparent visitation rights.
Among the factors is whether you have a prior relationship with the child and if the child is old enough to express their wish to see or not see you. If failing to award visitation rights may be detrimental to the child, the court holds that this “harm standard” is grounds for a court order. The current statues balance the harm to the child with the material harm to the parent-child relationship.
All states have laws that address the rights of grandparents. However, the restrictive statutes in Florida allow suits for a very narrow set of circumstances. Unless your grandchild’s parents are missing, in a persistent vegetative state or dead, visitation can be denied. In many cases, parental unfitness that can result in harm to the child must be shown. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic