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Florida has several specific laws regarding child custody and visitation rights. It is one of the few states to recognize grandparent rights and to encourage shared custody between parents in an equal manner.

Since Florida's courts don't have many specific guidelines for custody or alimony, it's always a good idea to work with a professional. Knowing your situation well helps you prepare for what the courts may decide.

Does Florida recognize grandparent rights?

Yes, Florida law does recognize grandparents' visitation rights. Grandparents who would like to visit their grandchildren following their children's divorces may seek help through the courts to do so.

Will the Floridian courts listen to what a child has to say?

Yes. The court wants to know that a child is going to a safe, supportive home environment. Part of what makes a home safe for a child is a child wanting to be there. A court will listen to what a child wants to do, even though that may not be the final decision it makes on the child's behalf.

Does Florida abide by the Uniform Child Custody Act?

Yes. Florida adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act in 1977. The act makes sure that custody plans and visitation rights are maintained across state lines.

How do the courts decide which parent obtains custody?

It's not always a matter of deciding on one parent or another. Sometimes, both parents share custody of a child. The court's job is to make sure that the child is in a healthy, happy and supportive home environment. If both parents can provide that, then shared custody is an option. In the case that there is domestic abuse or other concerns, the court looks at all the facts and determines which parent is most likely to care for the child appropriately.

Those who are in this situation may want to work with an attorney who is Board Certified in Marital and Family Law. Attorneys with Board Certification are familiar with the ins and outs of fighting for grandparent rights, which aren't always as straightforward as a parent's rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Child Custody Laws," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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