The United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of grandparents’ visitation rights in the case of Troxel v. Granville. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Washington State statute providing for grandparents’ rights was unconstitutional. Since the US Supreme Court decision, a number of state courts including Florida have revisited their state statutes regarding grandparents’ visitation rights. The Florida Constitution has a privacy provision that protects the rights of fit parents to raise their children as they choose. With this Florida Constitutional provision and the US Supreme Court’s ruling, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled its grandparent visitation statute as an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of a fit parent.
There are limited circumstances where grandparents may have the right to pursue custody actions such as when they have been raising their minor children. Grandparents may also be able to intervene in child dependency actions and ask that they be named as a placement option for their grandchildren in lieu of being placed with a non-relative. In certain circumstances, grandparents may also be able to adopt their minor grandchildren when one or both parents are deceased or otherwise unable to parent the children.
Vari & Associates, LLC.
The foregoing guide was published to inform and not advise the reader about Florida family law. The guide was authored by Attorney Lisa Marie Vari of the Miami, FL family law firm of Vari & Asssociates, LLC.
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