Roughly 10% of children in the United States are being raised by a grandparent. However, in many cases, the grandparents do not have legal custody or guardianship of the child. Unfortunately, this situation leaves much to chance and could lead to disputes among family members.
Seeking legal guardianship is one option for grandparents. Adoption and a 751 action are two other options.
With guardianship, a grandparent or other family member is appointed by the court to make decisions regarding the child. Generally, in Florida, the court may appoint a guardian for a minor child if the parents die or otherwise become incapacitated.
Generally, with adoption, the parent’s parental rights are terminated, and the grandparent adopts the child.
With a 751 action, an extended family member (very often a grandparent) may seek temporary custody of a child. A 751 action can allow the grandparent to gain custody even if they do not want to adopt or if they in fact do not qualify to adopt.
Our firm has extensive experience in all of these matters. To learn more, please see our Adoption FAQ.