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Grandparent’s Rights Bill Gains Speed: Orlando Child Custody Attorney

Florida Child Custody Attorneys May Soon Add Grandparents Rights To Their List Of Services:

Grandparent’s rights is an area of Florida child custody law that has historically been very limited. Currently, one of the only ways a grandparent can be granted court ordered time-sharing with a child is in a dependency court which is where the state steps in and takes children away from their parents. Often children taken from their parents are placed with extended family members such as grandparents.

There is a new bill being introduced in Tallahassee, however, that would give grandparents the ability to petition courts for time-sharing with their grandchildren upon a showing that the child would suffer mentally or emotionally if not permitted to see the grandparent.

The bill called HB 19 is being advocated by Yvonne Stewart, mother of missing mother Michelle Parker, who since the disappearance of her daughter has not been permitted to see her grandchildren by the children’s father who is also a suspect in Parker’s disappearance according to the Orlando Sentinel .

The bill, if approved by two more House committees and the state Senate will allow grandparents to petition the court to be awarded time-sharing if one parent is missing, dead, or in a vegetative state.

This is not the first time that the issue of grandparent’s rights has been discussed. Previous attempts have failed due to concerns that they went against the Florida constitution’s right given to parents to decide who sees their children.

This bill seems to be a lot narrower than previous attempts and it seems to be picking up speed as it passed in one state house committee this past Monday.

Sean Smallwood is an Orlando family law attorney, motivational speaker, and blogger. He can be contacted here here

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