The potentially complex process of deciding child custody arrangements can leave Florida parents feeling broken and out of options. Yet grandparents often experience similar situations, in which they are led to believe they would see a grandchild grow up but instead are not allowed to see them at all.
This situation is all too common for those battling for visitation rights. In Florida, some grandparents have discovered they do not even have rights to petition a given visitation arrangement. A life without one’s grandchildren may seem painful, unnecessary, and without valid reason. Why, then, do so many Floridians deal with this problem today?
10 News covered the touchy subject of grandparents rights in Florida earlier this year. Shockingly, some grandparents wait years to see their grandchildren, only to realize such arrangements are far from possible. 10 News reveals that, according to Florida law, every 20 years the state’s constitution becomes the potential canvas for change–during this period the commission takes recommendations for revision. Members of Alienated Grandparents Anonymous have plans of modifying strict grandparent visitation laws.
One might assume that gaining rights to see a child would not be an incredibly difficult process, but for many grandparents, it has become a prolonged fight. The Florida Legislature shares the details behind the state’s visitation laws, which state that the court can hold a preliminary hearing to determine whether the current parents of the child are capable of proper care. If the court finds a parent unfit, they may award visitation from grandparents. Family mediation can also help grandparents gain rights to see their family; if mediation is unsuccessful, the court may again intervene. The process may be long and grueling for many, but the best interest of the child are ideally the first priority in any situation involving visitation rights.