Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, and when they are kept from their grandchildren, it can be detrimental to grandparent and grandchild alike.
What some grandparents do not realize, however, is that they may petition the court to create a legally enforceable right to visit their grandchildren. Sometimes grandparents can even claim visitation time traditionally left to a parent, if the parent is unable to utilize the visitation.
Court-Granted Grandparent Visitation Rights in Arizona
The Arizona Superior Court has discretion to grant grandparents visitation rights under any of the following circumstances:
- The child’s parents have been divorced for three months or longer.
- The child’s parent has been deceased or missing for three months or longer.
- The child’s parents were never married.
In addition to meeting one of the above requirements, the court must find that it is in the child’s best interest to grant visitation rights to the grandparent.
Factors that Determine a Child’s Best Interest
The court considers the following factors in weighing the child’s best interest:
- The existing relationship between the grandparent and the child.
- The grandparent’s motives.
- The parent’s motives for preventing visitation.
- The amount of visitation time requested.
- The benefits to the child of maintaining a relationship with the grandparents.
When parents keep grandparents from spending time with their grandchildren, grandparents may have legal redress. Speaking with the family law attorneys at JacksonWhite about grandparents’ rights can help grandparents maintain positive family ties with their grandchildren.