The effects of an Arizona divorce are far-reaching. Not only are the spouses and children impacted by the failed marriage, but often the grandparents as well. Sadly, the amount of time grandparents get to spend with their precious grandchildren is sometimes limited following a painful divorce. The good news is that in Arizona, grandparents have rights that are specifically defined by the law.
What the Law Says About Grandparent Rights
If you are a grandparent, you should be aware that you can pursue a court-ordered visitation with your grandkids. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-409, you may be granted reasonable visitation rights to your grandchild “during the child’s minority on a finding that the visitation rights would be in the best interests of the child.” The other stipulation is that one of the following must apply to your situation:
- It has been at least three months since your grandchild’s parents have been divorced.
- One of the parents has been deceased or missing for at least three months. There are two circumstances in which a parent would be considered missing – either the parent’s location is unknown or law enforcement has declared him or her missing.
- The parents were not married when your grandchild was born.
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Our state is unique in that it also gives great-grandparents rights under the law. If you are a great-grandparent wondering about the possibility of obtaining a court-ordered visitation, you should talk with an Arizona family law attorney who can explain what is involved.<
There are some factors that are considered by the court when determining if grandparent visitations are in the best interests of the child. These factors are also listed in § 25-409 and include the following:
- Your historical relationship with the child.
- Your motivation in pursuing visitation.
- Why visitation might have been denied.
- The amount of visitation time that you have requested and the possible impact on the child’s customary activities.
- The benefit of continuing an extended family relationship, if one or both of your grandchild’s parents is deceased.
About Our Arizona Family Law Attorneys
Dealing with a family law issue, such as grandparent rights can be overwhelming. There are often a lot of emotions involved and knowing what steps should be taken can be downright confusing. We can help. Our Arizona family lawyers will walk you through the entire process of getting court-ordered visitation and will be available to answer your questions.