Grandparents often have a special relationship with their grandchildren and can be an important role model in a child’s life. While parenting time is usually divided solely between parents, Arizona laws have been passed to ensure this important relationship doesn’t have to end due to divorce.
Grandparents can petition the courts for visitation rights with their grandchildren if certain factors are met:
- Visitation is in the child’s best interest. The judge will take into consideration what the legal parents have to say about this factor. The burden to prove best interest falls on the grandparents.
- One of the parents is deceased or has been reported missing to law enforcement for at least three months
- The child was born out of wedlock, and the parents aren’t currently married.
- The parents have been divorced or legally separated for at least three months.
A decision on visitation will be based on:
- The grandparent’s past relationship with the child. Did they visit often previously? Has there been any concerns in the past? Is the child in favor of visitation?
- The grandparent’s motivations in seeking visitation.
- The parent’s motivation in opposing the visitation with grandparents.
- The amount of visitation being requested. No one wants to disturb a child’s routine and sense of stability.
- The benefit of keeping relationships with extended family members in cases where a parent is deceased.
Usually grandparent visitation is scheduled during the time their son or daughter has parenting time with the child. Grandparents should make their desire for visitation known during divorce proceedings if possible but the request can also be made separately.
If you are interested in seeking visitation of your grandchild, Pangerl Law Firm can help.
Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.