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Florida sees first grandparents' rights petition filed

A woman and her family have filed for grandparents' rights in Florida in an effort to have visitation with her grandkids. A new law in Florida may help her achieve that goal.

Four years ago, the woman's daughter disappeared. Her son-in-law stopped letting the woman see the children. In order for the woman to seek visitation under the new law, one parent must be missing, in a vegetative state or dead. The other parent has to be someone who has shown signs of violent behavior or be a convicted felon.

The children's father was convicted of domestic violence against a previous wife back in 2000. That charge was a felony. The children's mother has now been declared legally dead.

The process won't be an easy one for the Florida grandmother. First, the court will hold a hearing on the petition. Mediation will then be ordered. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the case will go to trial, and a judge will make a ruling.

The woman says that she doesn't want to drive a wedge between the kids and their father. However, she wants to be able to see her grandchildren.

When you're seeking grandparents' rights, the process can be long and arduous. There are likely some harsh emotions that will play into the case. It's important to remember that the children are the focus of such a case. Your family law attorney can listen to the circumstances surrounding your case and your wishes regarding visitation. He or she can then provide you with advice and guidance on how to proceed.

Source: Palm Beach Post, "Family files first petition under Florida’s ‘Grandparents’ Rights’ law," Nov. 17, 2015

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