Can a Grandparent or Stepparent Be Awarded Custody of a Child in Arizona?
Child Custody Granted to A Stepparent or Grandparents
The standards applied to a grandparent or stepparent to be awarded custody of a child are different than the standards applied to a natural parent seeking custody of his or her child. There are three categories of relationships that determine the standard that applies to each.
The first category is a natural parent, the next is a person who the non-biological child has treated as a parent (referred to as In Loco Parentis), and the third is a person who has not been treated as a parent by the child, but seeks custody of the child.
- The standard applied to obtain custody of a biological child is the best interests of the children.
- The standard applied to obtain custody of a non-biological child who has been treated as a parent by the child is that remaining with the biological parent would be significantly detrimental to the child. If a child custody order had been entered within the prior twelve months when a non-biological person seeks to obtain custody of a non-biological child, the standard becomes whether leaving the child with a biological parent places the child in imminent danger of serious harm. If only visitation is sought by someone who is In Loco Parentis to a child, the Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of Egan v. Fridlund-Horne held the trial court must give special weight, among other factors, to the biological parent’s wishes regarding visitation between his or her child and the person who claims In Loco Parentis visitation rights.
- The standard to obtain custody of a child by a non-biological person who has not been treated as a parental figure requires the filing of a Dependency Action in the Juvenile Court and a demonstration of actual abuse and/or neglect of the child. The Arizona Court of Appeals in the cases of Olvera v. Superior Court, Webb v. Charles and Marshall v. Superior Court held that the Juvenile Division of the Court, not the Family Law Division of the Court, had the sole authority to rule on cases granting custody of a child to a non-biological parent who is not In Loco Parentis to the child. That ruling also held the standards to be applied are those of a Dependency Action under the Juvenile Statutes in the Juvenile Division of the Court and not the Family Law Statutes.
The Arizona Court of Appeals in the Lambertus v. The Honorable Gerald Porter case addressed the issue of whether the court had the authority to issue temporary orders granting grandparents visitation during the pendency of a case. The appeals court concluded that although the statute did not specify the court could grant grandparents visitation in a temporary order, the trial court had the inherent authority to do so.
Call the experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona adoption attorneys at (480)305-8300 at Hildebrand Law, PC to learn more about adopting a child in Arizona.
More Articles About Child Custody in Arizona
- Access to a Child’s Medical Records in Arizona
- Adoption Attorneys in Arizona
- Required Affidavit in a Child Custody Case in Arizona
- Are Mothers Favored Custody Battles in Arizona
- Arizona Child Custody Attorneys
- Arizona Child Custody Statutes
- Arizona Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Statutes
- Changing a Child’s Last Name in Arizona
- Changing Child Custody in Arizona
- Child Custody and Child Support in Arizona
- Child Custody In Arizona
- Child Custody Laws in Arizona
- Child Custody Rights in Arizona
- Co-Parenting After Divorce in Arizona
- Delegation of Custody Decisions in Arizona
- Divorce and Grandparents Visitation in Arizona
- Effective Co-Parenting in Arizona
- Emergency Child Custody in Arizona
- Emergency Child Custody Orders in Arizona
- Enforce Parenting Time or Custody in Arizona
- Enforce Visitation Non-Custodial Parent in Arizona
- Grandparent’s Rights in Arizona
- How is Child Custody Determined in Arizona
- How to Change a Child’s Last Name in Arizona
- How to Enforce Parenting Time in Arizona
- How to Get Sole Custody in Arizona
- How to Modify Child Custody in Arizona
- How to Modify Visitation in Arizona
- Joint Custody and School Decisions in Arizona
- Joint Custody vs Sole Custody Arizona
- Joint Legal Custody or Joint Decision Making in Arizona
- Modifying Visitation With a Child in Arizona
- Moving Children Many Times in Arizona
- Order of Protection and Child Custody in Arizona
- Parent Information Program Class in Arizona
- Parent Move Out of State With A Child From Arizona
- Parental Alienation in Arizona
- Prepare for Child Custody Evaluation in Arizona
- Presumption of Equal Parenting Time in Arizona
- Restrictions in Arizona on Taking Children to Another Country
- Sole Legal Custody or Sole Decision Making in Arizona
- Sole or Joint Custody in Arizona
- Temporary Child Custody in Arizona
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act in Arizona
- What Are the Child Custody Factors in Arizona
- What Determines Child Custody in Arizona
- What is a Child Custody Evaluation in Arizona
- What is a Parenting Coordinator in an Arizona Child Custody Case
- What Is Domestic Violence in Arizona
- What Types of Child Custody Are There in Arizona
- What Visitation or Parenting Time Schedules do Judges Order in Arizona
- Who Has Custody of Children When a Divorce is Filed in Arizona
- Who Is the Best Child Custody Lawyer in Arizona
- Withholding Child From Custodial Parent in Arizona
- Contesting Relocation of a Child When You Do Not Live in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about grandparents child custody in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about child custody laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a child custody case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.