Modern families live in a variety of situations. In some instances, grandparents may be significantly involved in the care and upbringing of their grandchildren. They may provide childcare when the grandchild’s parents are at work or even support a single parent or unmarried child. Sometimes, children and their parents end up living with grandparents in multi-generational households due to financial necessity.
The Importance of Grandparents in Childrens’ Lives
Ideally, children will experience the stability and support of an extended family network throughout their childhood. Grandparent involvement in the life of a grandchild as a source of love and encouragement is an important part of their growth and development. This can be especially important for children who grow up with only one parent, or with volatile conditions regarding residence and finances.
Unfortunately, issues between the child’s parents such as separation, divorce, relocation, or a death can alter the availability and consistency that grandparents have in being involved with the lives of their grandchildren. Arizona law provides an avenue for grandparents to try and change the access they have to their posterity. They can do this by petitioning the court for visitation rights.
Gaining Legally Protected Visitation or Custody With Grandchildren
Grandparents may pursue visitation or custody rights when they are being denied access to their grandchildren or because they feel that their grandchild is not growing up in a safe or stable situation. The Arizona Superior Court decides whether to grant grandparents’ visitation rights under Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 25-409. There are specific circumstances that must be met where the court could grant a petition:
- The child’s parents are divorced for a period of time not less than three months.
- The child’s parent(s) are deceased or are out of contact with the child for a period of three months or longer.
- The child’s parents were not legally married.
In addition, the court will take the grandparent’s motives for visitation as well as the relationship history between grandparent and child into account. Ultimately, the court will base their decision on what is in the best interest of the child.
If you have any questions or concerns or need more information about pursuing grandparent rights for visitation or custody of your grandchildren, please contact an experienced attorney at Simon Law Group of AZ at (480) 568-1141. We are available to take calls and set up free initial consultations 24 hours a day.