What Is the Law Regarding Grandparents' Rights in Florida?

The law regarding grandparents' rights in Florida allows grandparents to sue for visitation of their grandchildren if the parents are missing, deceased or in a vegetative state, according to About.com. There is also another provision where grandparents can sue for visitation if one of the parents is missing or deceased and the other is unable to look after the children, such as being convicted of a felony or is a threat to the children’s welfare.

While these laws are in effect, it is not as simple as applying for visitation and winning the case, notes About.com. The grandparents need to prove that the surviving parent is unfit to watch the children, including a threat of significant harm to the child. Due to the increase of privacy rights for residents in Florida, grandparents are not easily able to sue for visitation due to desertion or divorce, as they once were. This makes it more difficult for grandparents to win their lawsuit as it might impede on the privacy of the parents.

The privacy amendment was added to the constitution in Florida state in 1980, says About.com. It lets people in Florida remain free from government intrusion from their private life. As it relates to grandparent’s rights, there is a 1996 case that stated the court is not able to go against protests of parents in favor of the grandparents unless keeping the children with the biological parent would be a danger to the child’s well-being.