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Can I limit the time my children spend with their grandparents?

Just as Florida spouses might take action to prevent their children from having to spend time with a biological parent, they may also wish to limit their children's contact with grandparents.

In the case of a biological parent, parents will need to present evidence of violent criminal activity, endangerment of the children and other information to show that visitation with the mother or father is not in the best interest of the children. With grandparent, it may be easier to deny them contact with your kids.

Believe it or not, many Florida parents face the problem of grandparents who instruct their children to hate them, who are abusive or who put their kids in dangerous situations. In these cases, it may be prudent and wise for a parent to go to court to prevent grandchildren from having contact with the grandparent.

However, Florida parents also need to know that grandparents have the right to visitation with children. Although this right is not as firmly established as a parent's visitation right, courts will not deny grandparents visitation simply because the mother or father wants to hurt the grandparent, or simply because the parent and the grandparent don't get along.

In grandparent visitation right proceedings, courts are often looking to award an otherwise well-behaved and good-intentioned grandparent the right to see his or her grandchildren for several afternoons per month. These visits will usually be scheduled for at least a couple hours to allow for an activity and a meal.

Are you having an issue surrounding grandparental visitation rights? Whether you're a grandparent or a parent, you and the children involved have rights under the law. A lawyer can help you navigate this issue toward the fairest solution available.

Source: FindLaw, "Visitation FAQ," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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