Today, more and more grandparents are seeking visitation or custody of their grandchildren for a number of reasons. In Arizona, the law recognizes the rights to custody or access with children for non-parents under certain circumstances.
There are two forms of non-parental access to children through family law court: grandparents’ rights, and in loco parentis rights.
Grandparents or great-grandparents may be granted “reasonable visitation” if it is decided to be in the best interest of the child and if one of the following applies:
– the parents of the child have been divorced for at least three months
– a parent is deceased or absent for at least three months
– the parents of the child are unmarried
The court will determine these factors and examine the relationship between the child and the grandparents, the motivations of the grandparents and parents in requesting or denying visitation, the impact the visitation will have on the child’s family, and, if a parent is deceased, the relationship between the child and that part of its extended family.
In Loco Parentis Rights
A non-parent can be granted visitation of their grandchild if they stand in loco parentis (in place of a parent) to a child. This access is granted if the person seeking visitation has been established as being treated as a parent by the child and has formed a healthy parental relationship with the child for a substantial period of time.
In order for a non-parents to receive this type of visitation, the parents of the child must not be married or in the process of a divorce. Another requirement is that one parent must be deceased or absent.
It is not easy to get custody a child that is not yours. The best way to start gaining access to a grandchild is through peaceful means. The law recognizes a constitutional right to parent as well as choose who their child associates with. It is essential to talk to a Phoenix divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group today to discuss your legal options on how to get grandparent’s visitation rights. Grandparent’s looking into custody or visitation of grandchildren should also consider mediation as part of the process to keeping a positive relationship in the family so the best interests of the child are met.