As the structure of the traditional American family changes, laws have been enacted in order to attend to those changes. There is no question that grandparents have played a much larger role in the lives of their grandchildren over the past fifty years. Many grandparents have moved away from the grandparent who visits with the children and spoils them with money and gifts. More and more grandparents are secondary care givers and play a much more significant role in a child's life. As a result, more and more states are instituting laws to protect a grandparent's right to have visitation with their grandchildren, especially in the event of the death of a parent, or a divorce. Florida is very sensitive to a grandparent's desire to be in contact with their grandchildren, especially in situations where one parent is refusing any contact. Florida Statute 752, defines when it is appropriate for a grandparent to have visitation rights with their grandchild. Upon petitioning the court, a grandparent is entitled to visitation if it in the best interests of the child, and one of the following circumstances is present:
1) One or both of the parents is deceased;
2) the marriage of the parents has been dissolved;
3) a parent of the child had deserted the child; or
4) the minor child was born out of wedlock.
In addition, if the couple is married, in order to be awarded visitation over a married parent's objection, a grandparent must show that the child is in harm, and then prove that visitation is in the child's best interest.
To read more about grandparent visitation rights, see: http://www.rmwlaw.com/grandpar.htm