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Grandparents’ rights to visit and contact their grandchildren are provided for in Florida law; however it is very important to know that the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court have set down several decisions stating that these grandparents’ rights laws are unconstitutional in that they are an invasion of the parent’s rights to raise their own child(ren). Both supreme courts have the intention to place the child in the best possible environment, and the decisions put forth recently have shown that these courts feel that the natural parents are entitled to their privacy, and that they should be able to raise their children in the manner that they see appropriate.
That said, there are still several circumstances in which a grandparent or other relative can seek custody in order to protect the child from an unsafe environment. If your grandchild is the victim of neglect, abandonment or any type of child abuse, you do have the right to go to court to seek a safe and stable home for the child. If a grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or other relative can provide a safer and abuse-free environment and it is in the child’s best interests, it is a definite possibility that you could receive custody of that child. We at Butash & Donovan are experienced in the issues surrounding the custody of minor children by grandparents and other extended family members. If you have a child relative who has been abandoned or is being abused or neglected, then please contact us immediately so we can explain your rights and how we can help.