Visitation for Grandparents and Step-Parents Is Important for the Children

Spending time with a grandchild is something most grandparents relish. When a divorce occurs, it can cause a separation in their life, too, and may reduce or eliminate their ability to see their grandchild. Visitation for grandparents is as important as it is for the parents themselves, especially when the time spent with the grandchild is greatly decreased. There are some things that can be done, however, to try to improve this kind of situation.

Visiting with Grandchildren (With Permission)

Typically, there is no problem when grandparents want to visit with their grandchildren. Their own son or daughter provides access to them whenever possible. This allows the grandparents to remain active members of the extended family. However, when there are problems between the grandparents and their grown child, it can impact visitation.

Grandparent’s Visitation Rights

Visitation is not automatic for grandparents. If the grandparents are not allowed to see their grandchild, they may request visitation from the court. In order to accomplish this, they must be able to show that the child’s parent has not acted in the best interests of the child, and that it is in the best interests of the child to visit with his grandparents.

Other Factors in Proving a Case for Grandparent Visitation

In order for grandparents to make a formal request to the courts for visitation, one of several factors must be proven. The child’s parents must be divorced for at least three months. In the case of a deceased parent, the death must have occurred at least three months ago.  In some cases, the parents were never married. In this case, the grandparents must simply prove that the child was born out of wedlock and that the parents remain unmarried at the time the request for grandparent visitation is filed.

In the Best Interests of the Child

The grandparents who are seeking visitation must show that it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with them. The court considers various things when making this determination. They will review the past relationship of the parties and the potential impact that a lack of visitation will have on the child’s life. The court will review the motivation of the parent for keeping the child from visiting with the grandparent, as well as the motivation of the grandparents for seeking visitation.

Visitation with grandparents and others is not a given. When a grandparent is kept from seeing their grandchild they may be devastated. Call the compassionate legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss your case.

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 Visitation for Grandparents, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300, log on to, 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.