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Temporary Visitation Order for Grandparents in Arizona | Voted “Best of the Valley”

Posted on : December 22, 2015, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
Grandparent Visitation in Arizona

Temporary Visitation Order for Grandparents in Arizona

Temporary Visitation Order for Grandparents in Arizona.

Temporary Visitation Order for Grandparents in Arizona.

On August 12, 2014, a decision was handed down regarding a special action that arose from a trial court’s temporary order in the paternity action brought by Molly Lambertus (Mother) against Tyler Day (Father) in which it was ordered that the paternal grandmother, Linda Faye Day-Strange (Grandmother), be allowed two hours of visitation with the Child each week. Mother, Molly Lambertus, filed a motion to stay the temporary orders with the trial court that was denied. She then filed a special action and request for a stay.  The issue on appeal was whether the trial court could enter an order for temporary visitation order for grandparents.

In matters of jurisdiction, it is found that special action jurisdiction is appropriate due to the fact that in response to a temporary order granting visitation rights there is no other speedy remedy by appeal. Mother petitioned through special action that the trial court lacks subject matter jurisdiction supporting their decision to grant temporary visitation to the Grandmother. It is found that Mother’s reference to “subject matter jurisdiction” is imprecise. There are a number of applicable laws and precedents that can be used to support the decision. She also asserts that her right to due process was violated due to the insufficient time to prepare. It was also found that this claim is unsupported as there is a well-documented chain of events with plenty of notice given to both parties.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Need for Statutory Authority to Grant Grandparents Temporary Orders

It would seem that the actual issue needing to be determined is whether the trial court had statutory (or other appropriate authority) to issue the temporary order for visitation in the case of Lambertus v. Porter. It was concluded that the court did have authority pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute § 25–402, subsection B, paragraph 2, providing that a person other than the legal parent may petition for visitation with the minor child through the Superior Court.

The court considered the request in consideration of the child’s best interests and in pertaining to the child being born out of wedlock and the parents not being married at the time the petition was filed. Arizona Revised Statutes § 25–404(A) (Supp.2013) allows for a party involved in the legal decision making or parenting time proceedings to move for temporary orders. The trial court considered the Grandmother’s intervention in the paternity action as “involvement” in the legal decision making and parenting time proceedings and, therefore, the court of appeals felt she was qualified to file for temporary orders.

The Mother argues that the Grandmother is not a part of the legal decision making and parenting time proceedings as it does not specify “visitation” as being part of the process. While Arizona law specifically identifies that a trial court may grant visitation rights to non-parents at the court’s discretion and according to the child’s best interests, the legal parents’ opinion of what best serves the child should be given extra consideration. Given that information and the fact that no statute gives a trial court the actual legal ability to award visitation to any non-parent at a Temporary Orders proceeding, it was found the court in this particular case acted in excess of its own authority.

Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
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20:31 20 Sep 17
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
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21:41 07 Nov 17
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
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14:58 04 Oct 17
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
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I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
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Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
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Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
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I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
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I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
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I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
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21:53 27 Feb 18
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
Sam Franchimone
Sam Franchimone
22:09 12 Sep 13

Considering the Plain Language of the Law and Legislative Intent

Grandparents and Visitation.

Grandparents and Visitation.

To summarize, the majority opinion, in this case, appears to be in conflict with the plain language of the law, particular definitions of “parenting time” and “visitation.” It is particularly interesting to point towards the recent revisions of two of the statutes in reference to this case (§ 25–404(A) and § 25–401). Their recent revisions in combination with the constitutional presumptions afforded to parents to raise their children should lead us to conclude that the plain meaning of the terms should be seen as the best indicator of intent unless the verbiage is ambiguous or leads to an interpretation that is obviously inappropriate.

The fact that the legislative scheme names specific classes and/or parties eligible for visitation obviously suggests that the legislature had no intention of granting visitation to third parties not specified. It becomes apparent that the trial court lacked the authority for their decision to grant a temporary order providing visitation to the grandmother and the mother’s request for relief is granted by way of vacating the temporary visitation order.

Call us at (480)305-8300 to scheduled your personalized consultation with one of our experienced Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona grandparent visitation attorneys.



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