What Grandparent Rights Do I Have with Visitation?
When you are not allowed to see your grandchildren, the effects can often be devastating. This situation may adversely affect you and your grandchildren, especially if you had previously been an active presence in their lives. Under certain circumstances, you may have legal recourse to ensure you stay in contact with your grandchildren if your access is being denied. Here is some helpful information regarding grandparent rights:
Circumstances that Can Result in Grandparent Visitation
Arizona law allows a Superior Court to grant visitation to a child’s grandparent or even great grandparent if it determines that this would be in the child’s best interest. Additionally, one of the following situations must be present:
- The child’s parents have been divorced for three months or longer
- One of the child’s parents died or has been missing for three months or longer
- The child’s parents were never married
When the court is considering whether to grant grandparent visitation, it may consider a number of factors, including:
- The existing relationship between the child and the grandparent or great grandparent petitioning for visitation
- The reason why the grandparent or great grandparent is requesting visitation
- The reason why the parent is denying visitation
- The amount of time that the grandparent or great grandparent is requesting for visitation and whether this time would prevent the child from partaking in other activities according to his or her normal routine
- The benefits the child would receive by maintaining a relationship with extended family
Ultimately, the court tries to consider what will be in the child’s best interest and will rule accordingly.
Legal Requirements for Grandparent Visitation
Grandparent visitation is not automatic. The grandparent must petition the same court where the parents were divorced or where they established paternity. If no legal action has been filed, the petition for grandparent visitation must be filed in the county court where the child resides. If the child has been adopted by another family, the grandparents’ right to visitation is extinguished.
If grandparent visitation is granted, the court will attempt to schedule the visitation time when the parent has the right to access the child. For example, if the grandparents are the paternal grandparents and the father has his own parenting time, the court may order visitation with the grandparents during his time with the children.
Legal Assistance with Deviations
If you have been denied access to your grandchildren and would like to ensure that you will be in their lives, contact an experienced family law attorney from Udall Shumway. We have helped resolve family law issues since 1965 and will bring our experience to 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 Grandparent Rights, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson 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.