On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Timesharing/Visitation on Monday, January 28, 2013.

Grandparent rights to child custody their grandchildren over the objections of fit parents do not exist in Florida. However, Florida does offer a few morsels. For instance:

  • Florida parents who are activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service can now designate to grandparents their timesharing rights.
  • Also, Chapter 751 authorizes a court to order concurrent custody to extended family members who have physical custody, but lack documentation necessary to consent to a child’s medical treatment, or to enroll a child in school.
  • Additionally, voters adopted the “Granny Flats” amendment to the Florida Constitution, which provides tax incentives for constructing living quarters for grandparents.

But, these are just crumbs of visitation rights compared to how well grandparents are treated elsewhere. As the Bangkok Post reports, China has passed a new law requiring parents to regularly visit elderly relatives!

The ruling, approved by China’s National People’s Congress on Friday, is part of a package of amendments to the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly legislation and will come into force on July 1, 2013.

“Family members who live separately from the elderly should visit them often,” the law says, adding that “employers should guarantee the right to home leave in accordance with relevant regulations”.

The law mentions no specific penalties for those who fail to visit frequently, nor elaborates on what “often” means.

But it does state that if the rights and interests of the elderly are violated, they or someone on their behalf can seek official help or file a lawsuit.

The wide-ranging law includes clauses covering intra-family conflicts regarding support obligations, housing and assets. It stipulates punishments for people who abuse the elderly, fail to support them and interfere in their freedom to marry.

The legal changes reflect the challenge China faces in dealing with an increasingly ageing society after three decades of limiting couples to a single child.

The official Xinhua news agency said Friday that the law was amended “amid government efforts to find comprehensive solutions to issues facing the elderly population, as the number of Chinese senior citizens has grown rapidly in recent years”