What Are a Grandparent’s Rights in Florida?

Grandparents have the right to petition for visitation rights if a grandchild was born out of wedlock, if one parent has deserted the child or if the parents of the grandchild have dissolved their marriage, according to chapter 752 of the Florida statutes. As of 2015, a grandparent’s rights are typically limited in Florida.

A 1980 amendment to the Florida Constitution protects the private life of citizens from government intrusion, making it more difficult for grandparents to gain rights to visit a child who lives in an intact family with no indications of risk, states the law office of Ayo & Iken.

In situations where the child’s natural parents were never married, or when the parents end their marriage, grandparents may legally file a petition for visitation rights. In cases where the parents live together as a family, or when a parent remarries, Florida courts are less likely to grant the request. When a stepparent adopts a child, the petitioning grandparents are less likely to receive visitation rights, explains Ayo & Iken.

As of 2014, activists were pushing for a grandparents’ rights bill that allows both grandparents and great-grandparents to request visitation rights if a parent dies, goes missing or falls into a vegetative state and the other parent objects to visits, but similar bills have failed in the past, says Bay News 9.