Families experience conflicts that don't show up in TV commercials. A common situation is where parents don't allow their own parents to have a relationship with their grandchildren.
It's a sorry situation. Grandparents and grandchildren benefit enormously from one another. It is cruel to keep these two generations from knowing and loving one another.
Arizona law recognizes the importance of having this relationship. The state allows grandparents to file a petition to have visitation rights with their grandchildren. In some circumstances, grandparents may be entitled to fill in when it is in the child's interests.
The courts can grant, at their discretion, visitation rights to grandparents when one of these circumstances are present:
- The child's parents have been divorced three months or more.
- A parent of the child has been deceased or missing for at least three months.
- The parents of the child never married.
In all these circumstances, the court grants rights to grandparents when doing so is in what it defines as the child's best interests.
Understanding 'the child's best interests'
This phrase includes some considerations.
The grandparent's motives must be good. To refuse the grandparent's claim, parents must be able to show real reason for opposing visitation. They may not do so out simply of spite. And it must be demonstrated that regular visitation will provide a real benefit to the child.
The laws regarding grandparents' visitation rights are simple as written. In practice, the court must weigh many factors, and follow the precedents set in thousands of previous cases.
Choosing the right lawyer
To successfully claim your rights, you need an attorney who is familiar with extensive case law and has succeeded in obtaining these rights over many years' time.
We invite you to call our office in Pima to discuss your situation, and what you want to have happen.