Visitation is a legal concept that guarantees temporary access for an adult with a child over whom they do not currently have legal authority. For example, if one spouse secures sole custody in a divorce, the other parent may only receive visitation instead of shared parenting authority, but that right to visitation ensures they can see their child and continue to play a role in their life. 

It’s important for those living in Florida to understand that visitation rights don’t just apply to parents. They can also apply to grandparents, particularly in situations that involve apparent going to jail, a parent struggling with a serious medical condition or a parent who loses custody rights. Grandparents can potentially take action in family court to protect their relationship with their grandkids. 

When do you have the right to request visitation?

As a general rule, any custody determinations made by the Florida family courts must focus on the best interest of the children. Typically, those interests include having a broad base of social support and protecting their familial relationships. Provided that you already have an established role in the lives of your grandchildren, the courts could very well uphold that role by granting you visitation. 

Although Florida law makes grandparent visitation typically available in circumstances where your child, the parents of your grandchild, loses their parental rights due to abuse, criminal charges or medical necessity, it is sometimes possible to secure visitation in situations involving estrangement or divorce. 

Reviewing your relationship and the nature of the family issues separating you from your grandchildren with an attorney can help you better determine if you have grounds to seek grandparent visitation from the courts in Florida.