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Can grandparents ever get custody of their grandkids?

Some Arizona children have two parents who are committed to each other and to raising their kids as a couple. Other children have two parents who choose not to remain in relationships, but who nevertheless remain united in their desires to raise their kids. Still other kids may live with only one parent and have no contact with the others. A final group of children may not have any contact with either of their actual parents.

In situations where children are no longer in the custody of their parents, grandparents may be able to step in and gain non-parental custody over their grandchildren. Non-parental or third party custody may be granted to a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other adult who can support the best interests of a child. Seeking non-parental custody requires petitioning the court for such custody and ensuring that the child's parents are notified that the action is pending.

Courts generally seek to have children live with their parents, but incidents of violence, incarceration and others may demonstrate that certain children would benefit from residing with individuals other than their mothers and fathers. There is no guarantee that a grandparent will receive custody of a child simply because the child's parents have encountered rough times in their lives. Each non-parental custody case presents its own unique challenges.

Non-parental custody is generally not an option for grandparents, whose grandkids are happily residing with one or both of their parents. However, grandparents can sometimes secure visitation time with their grandkids, when their children and children's spouses block them from having access to the youths. Family law attorneys in Arizona can provide their clients with more information on non-parental custody and grandparent visitation.

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