Florida grandparents may be finding themselves on the outside when it comes to involvement in their grandchildren’s lives. Often the matter involves one of the in-laws denying the grandparent visitation rights, but if both parents mutually decide to not allow access it may become more difficult to find courts sympathetic to their plight.
A 2000 Supreme Court decision gave parents the fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit so long as no harm has been inflicted upon the child. The ruling has thus been extended in certain jurisdictions allowing parents to not have to abide by the wishes of the grandparents in the raising of children, either.
Though certain states do allow for the grandparents to petition for visitation rights, the burden is often placed upon the grandparents to prove that what’s in the child’s best interest is to allow such visitation to take place. Other states take this requirement even a step further by forcing the grandparents to prove that harm would actually be done to the child if the grandparents are denied visitation.
Since the state of the law is what it is grandparents will not always be provided the opportunity to visit a child by court order unless all parties can agree to put aside their petty differences and agree to do what is best for the child. What’s in the best interest of the children should always be the number one concern of the courts, but attorneys representing the interests of the grandparents can point out the number of studies showing that the involvement of grandparents in the child’s life supplies a wide variety of benefits for all parties involved – most importantly the child.
Source: Huffington Post, “Constitutional Rights of Grandparents: Do We Have Any?” by Karin Kasin, March 16, 2012