Does Florida afford grandparent visitation rights?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2018 | Firm News, Florida Family Law |

Your grandkids no doubt play a major part of your life in Hernando County. Yet what happens when your biological link to them (their parents, your children) is severed? You no doubt would want to remain a part of their lives. The question is does the law afford you that right? 

The answer depends on the individual circumstances of your case. If your adult child (the grandkids’ parent) divorces, there may a good chance you will still have frequent contact with them. The same may be true even if your adult child is completely removed from the equation; you may be able to work with your son- or daughter-in-law to still be involved in your grandkid’s upbringing. Florida currently has no laws addressing grandparent visitation for either of the aforementioned scenarios. What about cases where both parents are gone? 

There may a situation where you become your grandkids’ guardian in such a scenario. If that does not happen, however, the law does allow you to petition for visitation. Section 752.011 of Florida’s Domestic Relations Code states that you can indeed seek grandparent visitation rights if the kids’ parents are: 

  • Deceased
  • In a persistent vegetative state
  • Missing

For the purposes of this law, “missing” is meant to mean a person has been missing for at least 90 days and attempts to locate him or her have been unsuccessful. You may also petition for visitation if your adult child is in any of the aforementioned states, and the kids’ other parent has been incarcerated. 

It should be noted, however, that an adoption can indeed affect your visitation rights. It is left to the discretion of the kids’ adoptive parents to decide if they should honor your visitation rights. The same holds true even if they were adopted by a family member.