Can Grandparents Do Anything to Keep a Grandchild from Being Moved Out of State?

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“My daughter-in-law is threatening to take our grandson away from my son here in Florida and move to New York with her relatives. They are still married and have not even seen a lawyer about a divorce or separation. They both are young and I’m afraid that her immaturity will make her do something harsh and she will leave. Is there any recourse my son has to keep her from taking that wonderful little boy from us?”

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Under Florida Statute 752.01 Action by grandparent for right of visitation; when petition shall be granted.– (1) The court shall, upon petition filed by a grandparent of a minor child, award reasonable rights of visitation to the grandparent with respect to the child when it is in the best interest of the minor child if: (a) The marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved; (b) A parent of the child has deserted the child; or (c) The minor child was born out of wedlock and not later determined to be a child born within wedlock as provided in s. 742.091.

However without the dissolution of the marriage proceedings, or parental consent, you, grandparent, may have no recourse on your own right now. Aso, without Court orders it is tough to stop a parent from leaving a jurisdiction with a child.

So we look at your son’s potential rights. Since your daughter-in-law may go somewhere and try to start a case really fast, venue may end up being inconvenient for your son (if he is going to stay in Florida and does not file). If there is a chance of reconciliation, then I would suggest he pursues that route. However, if the marriage has broken down to the point where no amount of counseling is going to repair the rift, he should probably file for a divorce and request immediate custody and visitation orders so that the Court in Florida can make some orders to stop the move away or at least ensure that your son (and derivatively you) will continue to have access to his son.



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Author: House Attorney

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