When custody is an issue, grandparents often express their concern about whether they will also be able to receive visitation with children. Read on to learn more about grandparent’s rights in Arizona and why it makes sense to hire a family lawyer to help you.
Overview of Grandparent’s Rights
Arizona is unique in that great-grandparents can even receive the same visitation rights as grandparents. These rights, though, are defined very strictly. For example, one of the following conditions must be met for grandparents or great-grandparents to be able to even file a petition for visitation:
- A parent of the child is now deceased
- The child’s legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed
- A proceeding for dissolution or legal separation of the legal parents is pending when the petition is filed
In order to award any rights to grandparents, the court must have determined that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. This means evaluating things like a past relationship between the grandparent and the child, the motivation of any individual denying the visitation, the quantity of time requested, and the motivation of the person requesting visitation.
If a parent has passed away, the court might consider other individuals and their rights, too. Maintaining a relationship with the extended family in this case might be viewed as in the best interests of the child, for example.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
Family law disputes can become complex very quickly, but many people are also of the mindset that these issues can be resolved within the family. If there is tension surrounding grandparent’s rights, though, it might be necessary for an interested grandparent to retain legal counsel.
If you have made your best attempt to resolve the issue on your own with no luck, or you feel that your concerns are not being heard, it might make sense to hire an attorney. This can be critical for understanding what rights you have, what the court is likely to consider in making this determination, and steps you can take to make the situation better.
In these cases where emotions tend to run high, unfortunately it sometimes does escalate to the point of legal action. You may need to retain an experienced Arizona family law attorney to help represent your side of the story so that the visitation time is clear and outlined to avoid future conflict.
Trying to represent yourself can be a mistake because there are strict procedural requirements as well as customs about how to approach these issues in court. Aside from the fact that you might not understand all the legal issues in play, you can strain your relationship with other family members further or fail to present the most compelling aspects of your case. This is where an Arizona family attorney can help you understand the pros and cons of moving forward with a claim for visitation rights and walk you through some of the challenges you might face along the way.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What About Grandparents’ Rights in Arizona?, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact our Family Law Section at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.