Grandparent Rights

Hands of the old woman and child.

Are you possibly one of the thousands that helped to raise your grandchild and now you are not allowed to see them?

Our firm can help you. Grandparent cases have become more prevalent in Arizona over the last two decades for many reasons.  We believe that when there is a strong bond between grandparents and their grandchildren that it is in the best interest of the grandchildren to have good contact with their grandparents.  However, the heartbreaking truth is that in Arizona grandparents rights do not include an automatic right to contact with their grandchildren.  The Arizona Family Courts sometime minimize the invaluable role that grandparents play in their grandchildren’s lives.Though it is very rare that the court would refuse a grandparent access to grandchildren unless there is clear evidence of danger from abuse or neglect, establishing a schedule for grandparent visitation can be done through your grandparent right case.

In AZ grandparents rights may even extend to custody, in some cases.  When parents are divorced and the parent with custody (now called “Full-Time Parenting Time”) dies, the law automatically transfers custody to the living parent. If you believe your grandchild’s living parent is incompetent, you can file with the court for in loco parentis full time parenting time in Family Court or guardianship in Juvenile Court, asking the judge to appoint you as your grandchild’s guardian or the full-time custodian instead.  If you can prove that one or both parent(s) are abusive or unfit, the court is given the duty to decide the interests of the child or children ahead of the parents’ rights.

In some cases, grandparent rights are not a matter of guardianship, but merely visitation. You can apply for your own visitation time to see your grandchildren. If one or both parents raise objections, you are likely to have to go to a Court hearing so you can give testimony and evidence.The court will then decide what is best for the grandchildren.  This is not as easy as it may seem, and you should have good legal representation at each stage because you will need to persuade the court that you have a meaningful and on-going relationship with your grandchildren, which significantly benefits their lives. Contact us for information on how McMurdie Law Office and WHYmediate Mediation Services may assist you in obtaining your Grandparent rights.

Michael W – August 2010

Cristi is an exceptional professional, she explained complex legal documents to my 80-year old mother into easy-to-understand concepts and language. …

Frank S – February 2014

Have known Cristi and her office for years! Great service she provides to the public and her clients. She goes …