In the state of Florida, a grandparent may be able to petition for visitation with a minor grandchild. This is true if both of the child’s parents are missing, in a vegetative state or are deceased. It may also be possible for a grandparent to make a petition if one parent fits any of those criteria and the other has been convicted of a felony or a violent offense.

Once a petition is received by the court, it will hold a hearing to determine the veracity of any claim related to a parent’s fitness to raise the child. If this cannot be established, the case will be dismissed and attorney’s fees and other costs may be awarded to the parents. If it can be established, a guardian may be appointed and mediation attempted.

Assuming mediation doesn’t work, the court will then go ahead and make a formal ruling. Visitation may be granted if it can be shown that doing so won’t harm the relationship between the child and the parent. It also needs to be shown that allowing visitation is in the best interest of the child. This is determined by looking at the length and quality of any previous relationship between the grandparent and the child before the parent died or otherwise posed a danger to the child.

Grandparents in Venice, Florida may wish to talk to an attorney prior to seeking visitation with a grandchild. An attorney may be able to review the case and verify that the grandparent has standing to ask for formal rights to see the child. Legal counsel may also be able to help establish that a grandparent being able to see his or her grandchild is in the best interests of that child and his or her well-being.