Grandparents Visitation Rights In Arizona
By Zachary Mushkatel on January 28, 2014
Divorce can be complicated and can become even more so when issues of child custody and visitation are involved. More and more, questions concerning child visitation rights not only extend to the spouses of a dissolved marriage, but also to the grandparents of the children involved in custody battles.
For instance, what if sole visitation rights are awarded to the ex-wife in a contentious divorce proceeding? The animosity the ex-wife may feel towards her ex-husband may also extend to the in-laws. What if she does not want the paternal grandparents to see the children?
Fortunately, all 50 states now have laws that govern how grandparents are awarded visitation rights.
Under Arizona law, grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights if at least one of the following is true:
- The child’s parents have been divorced for at least three months and the grandparent is the parent of the non-custodial parent.
- One of the child’s parents have been missing for three months or is deceased and the grandparent is the parent of the missing or deceased spouse.
- The child’s parents were never married.
Of course, the court must determine if those visits are in the best interest of the child. The Court will consider the historical relationship between the child and grandparent; what the motivation is for the visitation; what the motivation is for the parent denying the visitation; how the proposed visitation may impact the child’s life and activities, and the benefit of maintaining visitation rights for grandparents in cases where one or both parents are deceased.
Arizona statutes not only govern grandparents and great-grandparents visitation rights, but they also pertain to persons “other than a legal parent.” In other words, the court may grant visitation rights to aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and even step parents if those visits are deemed to be in the best interest of the child.
Call an Arizona Family Law Attorney
If you have questions about your visitation rights, contact the law firm of Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, in Phoenix. We can explain your legal rights and outline your options. Reach us at (623) 889-0691 or contact us online to set up a consultation today.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.