A bill has been signed into law recently in Florida that will give grandparents the right to seek visitation from the court under certain circumstances.
Some of the circumstances include when a parent is missing, in a vegetative state, convicted of an offense of violence that suggests the child could be at risk of harm. The bills says that a preliminary hearing will be held and if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a parent is unfit or that there is significant harm to the child, then visitation can be granted. There are two other requirements and those are that the parent-child relationship will not be harmed by the visitation and that the visitation is in the best interest of the child.
The passage of the bill and the signing of it into law was good news for the parents of Michelle Parker. She disappeared after an episode of “The People’s Court” aired that she was on along with her ex-fiance. The show was over Parker’s engagement ring. Her two kids were dropped off at her ex-fiance’s house and Parker has not been seen after that. That was three years ago.
The children’s maternal grandparents have not seen their grandchildren since then, either. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the ex-fiance in 2013, but in 2014, the case was dismissed. He is the primary suspect in Parker’s disappearance.
The new law will go into effect on July 1. If you want more information on grandparents’ rights, an experienced family law attorney can help and answer any questions you may have.
Source: Click Orlando, “Gov. Rick Scott signs grandparents’ rights bill into law,” Dawn Brooks, June 11, 2015