Meriwether & Tharp ranked as one of the nation's fastest growing private companies for the 2nd Year in a row by Inc. 5000!!

Thanks for printing!  Don't forget to come back to Meriwether & Tharp, LLC for fresh articles!

Grandparents' Rights: Custody

Although Florida law presumes that it is generally in the best interest of children to remain in the custody of their parents, grandparents or other family members may successfully intervene in divorce cases and other cases involving the determination of child custody to obtain custody rights with their grandchild. In Florida, grandparents may bring proceedings in circuit court to receive temporary or concurrent custody of a minor child.

Concurrent Custody

Concurrent custody means that an eligible family member is extended custodial rights for the child concurrently with the child’s parent(s). Concurrent custody will not eliminate or diminish the custodial rights of the child’s parents. To seek concurrent custody, the grandparent must “currently have physical custody of the child and have had physical custody of the child for at least 10 days in any 30-day period within the last 12 months.” In regards to child support, the court may redirect part or all of the existing child support obligation to be paid to the grandparent with concurrent or temporary custody.

Notarized consent of the child’s legal parents is still required for temporary or concurrent custody. “Unless the minor child's parents object, the court shall award temporary or concurrent custody of the child to the [grandparent] if it is in the best interest of the child.” Additionally, the petition for concurrent custody must contain additional information that identifies why the concurrent custody is being sought.

“At any time, the petitioner or either or both of the child's parents may move the court to terminate the order granting concurrent custody. The court shall terminate the order upon a finding that either or both of the child's parents object to the order. The fact that an order for concurrent custody has been terminated does not preclude any person who is otherwise eligible to petition for temporary custody from filing such petition.” In regards to child support, the court may redirect part or all of the existing child support obligation to be paid to the grandparent with concurrent or temporary custody.

Temporary Custody

If both legal parents do not consent to concurrent custody, the court will not grant the petition. However, the court may give the grandparent the option of converting the petition to a petition for temporary custody. With a “petition for temporary custody, the court shall grant the petition only upon a finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that the child's parent or parents are unfit to provide for the care and control of the child. In determining that a parent is unfit, the court must find that the parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child.” Under temporary custody, the court may still grant visitation rights to the child’s parents if it finds that it would be in the child’s best interests.

“At any time, either or both of the child's parents may petition the court to modify or terminate the order granting temporary custody. The court shall terminate the order upon a finding that the parent is a fit parent, or by consent of the parties. The court may modify an order granting temporary custody if the parties consent or if modification is in the best interest of the child.” 

Locations

Primary Office Locations

By Appointment Only

Contact M&T Today

We can help with all your questions...