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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Feb 24, 2017

Grandparents often play an important role in a child’s life and upbringing. In most cases, children benefit greatly by having their grandparents in their lives. Many children receive a love and wisdom different than that of what they usually get from their parents. This is why it’s so great when a child can grow up with grandparents in their life.

In the state of Arizona, it is possible to get visitation rights to grandchildren. Depending on your situation, you may be able to see your grandchildren over their parents’ objection. This is decided on a case by case basis and is usually determined by examining what is best for the children. This article discusses the considerations taken by the court when granting grandparents rights and when deciding the best interest of the child.

Factors considered for grandparent visitation

Arizona legislature created the legal right to visitation for grandparents in 1983. Under ARS §25-409, grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights so long as it is in the child’s best interests. One of the following must also be true:

  • The child’s parents have been divorced for at least 3 months and the grandparent is the parent of the child’s noncustodial parent.
  • The child’s parent has been deceased or missing for at least 3 months and the grandparent is the parent of the child’s missing or deceased parent.
  • The child’s parents were never married.

Determining the Best Interest of the Child

The Arizona courts usually consider the following information when deciding what is in the best interest of the child, along with any other relevant factors:

  • The past relationship between the child and grandparents.
  • The grandparents’ motivation for seeking visitation.
  • The reasons why the parents are denying the grandparents visitation.
  • The amount of visitation time the grandparents are seeking and how that could impact the child’s daily life.
  • The benefits of maintaining a relationship with extended family.

Many other factors go into granting visitation rights to grandparents. These cases are very dependent on specific factors in the child’s life.