Except in clear cut cases, Arizona doesn’t grant grandparent rights when it comes to visitation. However, they will consider visitation and custodial requests when it is in the best interest of the children and when one or more of their parents can’t or won’t provide parental care- this includes when a parent doesn’t use their visitation time.
It’s important to know when you can petition for either visitation or custody to your grandchildren, and have the backing of an Arizona Family Law attorney with a strong understanding of grandparent rights in Arizona.
Whether a grandparent is seeking visitation or custody, the court will look at factors such as:
- The parent’s ability and willingness to care for the child(ren)
- The relationship between the grandparent(s) and child(ren)
- The amount of time requested by the grandparent
- The motivation of both parents and grandparents in regards to access to the child(ren)
- Whether or not the child(ren) is in danger
When Visitation is Granted
So, the first qualification for grandparent visitation is that the parents were never married, or have been divorced for a least three months. If the parent of the child has been missing or deceased for at least three months, that is also a qualification that would allow a grandparent to create a visitation right.
When Custody is Granted
When a grandparent wants to file for custody, rather than simply visitation, there are three criteria that must be met. First, except for in the case of harm to the child, there must not have been a custody decision for the child made in the last year. Second, it must be determined that the grandparent’s custody is in the best interest of the child, more than that of staying with their parent. And thirdly, the grandparent must be providing for the majority of care for the child(ren) already.
Family Court will dismiss any case that doesn’t meet all three of the above criteria.
When something as important as a child’s health and safety is at stake, courts must be diligent in their understanding of the case. Having legal representation will help to make sure your side is presented accurately and robustly to the courts to help them make their decision.
If you are needing help with understanding your rights, and/or petitioning the court for visitation or custody of your grandchild(ren), Simon Law Group can help. With over 20 years in Family Law, we have the experience needed to listen, ask questions, and present the best case for a higher chance of success with your grandparent custody matter. Contact us today at (480)-745-2450 to schedule your free consultation.
When it comes to Grandparent rights, remember, Experience Matters!