GRANDPARENTS: THE LAW VERSUS MEDIATION
Updated: Apr 1, 2018
Just another reason why the process of mediation, if carefully thought through, assists all of the parties in a divorce......
Some of the very best memories for children are of those who have raised them. This holds true even if they are grandparents who have taken on the parental role or of those “other parents” who may not have been biologically related but still took on the tasks and responsibilities. In Florida, while the Court approved the enforcement of a foreign grandparent visiting order, Ledoux-Nottingham v. Downs, 210 So3rd 2017 (Fla. 2017), it certainly highlighted the fact that time sharing rights are still denied in Florida and that the courts and legislature don't care very much about this.
Additionally, and still the general rule in Florida, is the lack of rights of a stepparent. There we find in a divorce that a stepparent has very limited rights under Florida law. Their rights are not only superseded by the rights of the legal parent but they also have fewer rights than that of the child's biological extended family.
How can mediation effectuate a potential change? All issues are within the prevue and scope of the mediation process. Why not raise the "issue" of the rights of the extended family as just one more issue to discuss? While the mediator should never suggest or advise, one can certainly ensure that ALL issues be brought to the divorcing couple for thought and discussion.