Bleeding Grandparent Visitation Rights

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Timesharing/Visitation on Monday, October 29, 2012.

In order to educate the public, and shamelessly promote myself, I wanted to mention that my latest article, “Bleeding Grandparent Visitation Rights” is now available for download at the Florida Bar’s website. The article was printed in the September/October 2012 issue of the Florida Bar Journal. Here’s a brief abstract:

Grandparent rights to visit their grandchildren over the objections of fit parents do not exist in Florida . . . or so we thought. Floridians who are activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service can now designate to grandparents their timesharing rights over the objections of a fit parent. The article briefly examines the history of grandparent visitation rights in Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision inTroxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 97 (2000) and the recently enacted Florida Statute §61.13002(2) in light of Florida and U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Although the statute may not pass constitutional muster, Florida may have found constitutional ways to promote grandparent visitation. For example, Chapter 751 authorizes concurrent custody to grandparents with custody, and voters adopted the “Granny Flats” amendment to the Florida Constitution, which provides tax incentives for constructing living quarters for grandparents.

FYI, the title is derived from the 19th Century Kansas border wars (the statute in question impacts military divorces) the pain associated with grandparent visitation cases, and how grandparent child custody have historically spread into family law.

Grandparent visitation rights are an especially sensitive topic in the very emotional area of marital and family law. Hopefully, the article answers some questions many of you may have about grandparent visitation rights in Florida.