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Do I Have Visitation Rights After A Divorce As A Grandparent?


Grandparents naturally love and are fond of their grandchildren, often wanting to spend almost all of their time with them. Whether their involvement in their grandchild’s life is full-time or on holidays or from afar, grandparents are a crucial part of the family structure, playing significant roles in a child’s life. Some states provide grandparents the ability to request visitation rights after a divorce, but in Florida, grandparents are mostly left out on time-sharing issues. In divorce cases, grandparents tend to have no such rights, unless such visitation is agreed to by both or one of the parents.  There are some other minor exceptions, but they are far and few between in applying to most families.

What are Visitation/Time Sharing Rights? 

The authorization given by the court to a parent who does not have physical custody of his or her child or children is termed as time sharing rights. Guardianship granted to grandparents is also under the same term.

Time Sharing rights are regulated by the agreement of the involved parties or by order of a court. In Florida, the time sharing plan is called a “Parenting Plan.”  If drafted well, it is a precise plan on the frequency of visitation/ time sharing in the event that the parents do not see eye to eye.  It is always best for the parents to cooperate in raising the children, however, the parenting plan is a fallback that everyone can rely upon for certainty on all issues involving the children. Considerable change in behavior or situations involving the parent may call for changes in time sharing and parenting that can be temporary or permanent and may include restrictions or stopping of time sharing under the most extreme circumstances.

What is Divorce? 

Divorce is the legal termination of a formally recognized union, called marriage, by a court or other qualified body. The legitimate duties and responsibilities of marriage are called off or restructured, while the oaths of matrimony are disbanded.  This changes the legal relationship between the parties as spouses but does not change the parents legal status regarding the children.

Will Divorce Affect Visitation/ Time Sharing Rights? 

Divorce does affect visitation . time sharing rights in Florida, as disputes may arise as to who would take custody (primary residential parent) of a given child or children.

On What Grounds Can I Base My Visitation Rights On? 

As a grandparent, you can make your petition to have the visitation rights of a minor child whose legitimate custodian is missing, deceased, or whose other parent has been sent down for violence and traits that are a threat to the child’s well-being or health. Furthermore, a grandparent — maternal or paternal, notwithstanding step-grandparents — is authorized to equally visit with his or her grandchild. A valid visit may be without supervision, and where suitable and appropriate, the visits may be continuous and should not be denied.

Under certain circumstances, a relative may petition for temporary custody over the minor child.

Have Questions About Visitation Rights? Contact our Office Today

Visiting rights is the most common cause of dispute among relatives, especially at the time of divorce. Maintaining a healthy relationship between a grandchild and its grandparent can be extremely important to both parties. With the guidance of our Port St. Lucie family attorneys here at Baginski Brandt & Brandt, you can be assured that the child’s custody will fall in good hands. If you have any questions concerning visitation rights and settling the disputes that come with putting the child in the right custody, please do not hesitate to contact our team of family law attorneys today.



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Port St. Lucie 8483 S. U.S. Highway One
Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952
Stuart By Appointment Only 100 SW Albany Ave., Suite 300k
Stuart, FL 34994
Fort Pierce By Appointment Only 311 S 2nd St., Suite 102b
Fort Pierce, FL 34950
Telephone: 772-466-0707 Fax: 772-223-9290 or 772-466-0907 Office Hours: 8:30 to 5:00pm M-F