Grandparent Visitation Rights in Arizona
Grandparent child custody and visitation disputes occur more frequently than you may expect. Grandparent visitation cases are emotionally sensitive due the fact children are involved.
In most situations, the entire family is affected by the outcome of these child custody cases. This can be complicated further if the grandchild’s parents are divorced, making it so each parent is already spending less time with his or her own child. Fortunately, Arizona law provides grandparent visitation rights and, sometime, primary physical custody of their grandchildren.
The United State Supreme Court, however, issued a decision in the case of Troxel v. Granville that places some significant limitations on a court’s authority in grandparents rights cases, so it is imperative you know what you need to prove in order to win your grandparents rights case in Arizona.
You should be aware that your legal rights to visitation with your grandchildren derive from your legal relationship as the children’s grandparents. As a result, you would lose your grandparent rights if the parent through whom you are seeking to exercise your grandparent rights has his or her child custody revoked or parental rights terminated. This means you no longer have the legal status as a grandparent and thus cannot rely upon the grandparent visitation rights statute.
However, you may be able to claim in loco parentis status. The purpose of this is to obtain what is referred to in Arizona as third party child custody or visitation rights to your grandchildren.
It is imperative you speak to an experienced grandparents rights attorney if you are seeking custody or visitation with your grandchildren.