Obtaining Visitation Rights as a Grandparent
It can be difficult when parents divorce, not only for the children but also for the extended family who have built a relationship with the child. Grandparents in particular often have close relationships with their grandchildren. A divorce, however, can put that relationship in jeopardy.
Additionally, if a parent abandons the child or is born out of wedlock, it can be difficult for grandparents to get permission to visit the child.
Luckily, the law recognizes the importance of grandparents in a child’s life. In situations involving divorce, a parent deserting a child or birth out of wedlock, it may be possible for a grandparent to petition the court for visitation rights.
Before granting those rights to a grandparent, the court will look at a number of factors. Above all, the greatest factor is whether the visitation is in the best interests of the child. In order to make that determination, the court may also look at factors such as:
- The grandparent’s prior relationship with the child
- The preference of the child (if the child is mature enough)
- Whether the grandparent is willing to encourage a relationship between the child and his or her parents
- The health of the grandparent as well as the health of the child
Protect Your Rights as a Grandparent
Seeking visitation rights is not something you should try to handle on your own. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected at every stage of your case. At Moraitis & Raimondi, LLP, we have decades of experience protecting the rights of grandparents in South Florida. We can help you through the legal process of obtaining visitation, and we can also help you protect those rights if they are threatened by a remarriage or stepparent adoption.