Child custody in Arizona follows a couple baseline principles. First of all, the courts determine everything based on what is in the best interests of the child. Second, it’s believed that it’s typically best for the child to maintain good relationships with both parents. This means that custody tends to be pretty evenly split between the parents, with the parents sharing as close to 50/50 parenting time as possible.
What If You’re Not the Child’s Custodial Parent?
Despite Arizona’s attempts to simplify matters of custody, there are times when non-custodial parents or even other adults find themselves in a position of needing the court to intervene and ensure they can continue to spend time with the child. Are you wondering if you can get court-ordered child visitation in your unique circumstances? Here are a few types of people who can, in the right circumstances, get court-ordered visitation in Arizona.
Although the state of Arizona has a policy of trying to share custody as equally as possible between both parents, it’s not always possible. For parents who aren’t granted an equal share of decision-making rights and parenting time, it may be possible to get the courts to allow visitation with your child. Depending on the situation, you may or may not have to submit to supervised visitation, at least temporarily.
Sometimes grandparents may be able to successfully pursue court-ordered visitation with their grandchild. In Arizona, the family court allows you to purse child visitation with your grandchild if one of the parents is deceased or missing, if the parents weren’t married when the child was born, if a divorce is pending, or if the parents have been divorced at least three months. The court will also look at the grandparent’s past relationship with the child, why the grandparent is pursuing visitation, and why the parent is opposed to it.
A non-biological parent can sometimes be awarded third-parent visitation in the state of Arizona. Typically the step-parent will have to demonstrate that they fulfilled the role of a parent in the child’s life, by showing the history of their relationship with the child. Since Arizona makes child custody and visitation decisions based on what’s in the best interest of the child, if a step-parent can show that cutting them out of the child’s life abruptly would be harmful to the child, the judge may allow for third-parent visitation to maintain that relationship.
How to Pursue Child Visitation
If you fall into one of these categories, you may be awarded child visitation if you present your case before Arizona’s family courts. These cases are a little less cut-and-dried than the standard child custody case, however, as you’ll need to be able to make a strong case demonstrating your relationship with the child and proving that a continued relationship is in the child’s best interests.
With such a challenging case to make, it’s important to have a family law attorney who is knowledgeable about pursuing visitation in atypical situations. Once you have an experienced lawyer assisting you, they will help you build your case in a way that will get the judge’s attention. For more information about child visitation or to determine if you have a viable case, contact the Simon Law Group today and schedule a free consultation.