Grandparents' rights questioned at Supreme Court

Published: Jun. 7, 2016 at 7:48 PM EDT
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By: Mike Vasilinda

June 7, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Courts have already said a parent's right supersedes those of grandparents when it comes to visitation, but a unique case at the state Supreme Court could change that for some grandparents.

A set of Colorado grandparents won the right to spend three weeks a year with the children of their deceased son, but the mother moved to Central Florida. Now, the case before the court is whether the state should enforce the Colorado Court order or State Law.

Jamie B. Moses, the lawyer for the mother, says Florida law should prevail.

“The Florida Constitution affords parents the right to privacy and complete autonomy in child rearing. And the Colorado visitation order violates that. Period,” says Moses.

But the grandparents' attorney, Andrew Windel, says not honoring the Colorado court order could make the Sunshine state a haven for fleeing parents.

“And this, hopefully, will prevent Florida from becoming a safe harbor for parents who don’t want to honor grandparents visitation rights. To do otherwise would turn many of our policy decisions into swiss cheese and allow Florida to harbor people who want to contravene law implemented by other states that was appropriately applied to them in a fair and just proceeding,” says Windel.

The court asked tough questions of both sides. It’s ruling is expected later this year.