Grandparents in the U.S. have built bonded relationships with their grandchildren and because of COVID and other factors they are being denied time with their grandchildren in record numbers, more than ever before. In Arizona many grandparents are left to take this up with the court before their grandchildren grow too old and lose that important bond, especially those who helped raise and were a part of their life. When a child’s parents divorce, grandparents often worry they’ll lose contact with their grandchildren. If you have a grandchild and you are not allowed to see then, you may consider seeking help through the county court by filing for grand parent visitation or in loco parentis custody.
Grandparents have an important role to play in the wellbeing of their grandchildren and we feel that the best way for them to fulfill this role is to have a positive relationship with their grandchildren. However, it is an unfortunate truth that in Arizona grandparents do not have a legal right to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.
Arizona Revised Statutes, section 25-409, grandparents can petition for visitation with their grandchildren if it is in the best interest of the children and there are certain circumstances, including
- the parents have been divorced for at least three months or their divorce or legal separation is currently pending
- one of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing (and reported to law enforcement) for at least three months
- the child’s parents were never married
The court considers a range of factors in determining whether grandparent visitation is in the child’s best interests, such as
- the relationship between the child and grandparent(s)
- the motives of the party requesting visitation
- the motivation of the custodial parent, or legal guardian, denying visitation
- how much time is being requested and its impact on the child’s regular schedule
- the benefit to maintaining family relationships, even if one or both parents are deceased
Unless there is clear evidence of danger from abuse or neglect, the court normally allows grandparents to visit their grandchildren. But if one or both parents raise objections to a grandparent’s request for visitation rights, a court hearing will most likely be necessary so that a judge can make a decision based upon the testimony and other evidence presented. Your lawyer can help you to persuade the court that you have a meaningful and on-going relationship with your grandchildren, which significantly benefits their lives and continuing that relationship is in their best interest.
McMurdie Law and Mediation has provided exceptional family law representation and mediation since 1995 in Tempe and surrounding areas. Call 480-777-5500 to schedule a consultation today to discuss how we may assist you in obtaining your Grandparent rights in Arizona.