Generally, grandparents do not have custody rights to their grand-children in Florida. But, in certain limited circumstances grandparents do have some legal options. For example, if you as a grandparent have had your grandchild living primarily with you and the parents have been uninvolved or have personal issues that render them unfit to care for their child you have the option of filing something called Temporary Custody by a Relative Caregiver. Our firm handles these frequently, they can give a grandparent the right to make all decisions for the child and to raise the child in their case. If the parents both consent to the temporary custody, then these cases are rather straight forward and should not costs much or take much time. If the parents do not agree, then things can become more complicated, but you can be successful at obtaining temporary custody even without the parents'. Also, there are instances where you ONLY need the mother's consent, not the father's consent, in order to be able to get temporary custody.
Further, there is another type of arrangement called concurrent custody where both the parent and a grandparent may have custody of the child together. This is a type of co-parenting arrangement which can be put into place through the courts to grant the grandparents custody while the parent does not give her or her rights.
Navigating these issues can be a challenge and you really must consult with an attorney who has experience with temporary custody cases, as some general divorce attorneys do not. Our firm always offers free consultations, just reference this blog when you call.