John Bednarz, P.C. | Divorce & Family Law Attorney
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Do my ex's parents have visitation rights to my kids?

Many children thrive when they are supported by family members who love them. In Arizona, some children experience the regular care and compassion of not only their mothers and fathers but also their aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Extended family members can form strong bonds with their younger relatives, but when divorce pulls the two sides of a nuclear family apart, their extended relations can be left struggling to maintain their connections to loved nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

In particular, grandparents can suffer when their children divorce their spouses and the grandparents' relationships with their grandkids become strained. In some situations, grandparents may find that their access to their grandchildren is cut off by the former spouse of their child; when this occurs they may exercise grandparents' rights and petition the court to have visitation ordered between them and their grandkids.

As with all child custody and visitation matters, the relevant court will review the grandparent's visitation petition to determine if it serves the best interests of the children subject to its terms. A hearing may be held on the petition, during which time a parent may have the opportunity to present his or her concerns with the grandparent's petition for visitation and may be able to explain why such a visitation arrangement may be detrimental to the youths.

Detriment to children can include prior instances of domestic violence or harm caused by the grandparents and that were directed toward the grandkids. Other less blatant factors that may prevent a grandparent from gaining visitation access to his or her grandchild. For example, the inability of a family to plan grandparent visitation without disrupting the child's set schedule, may prevent grandparents from getting visitation rights.

Individual petitions for grandparent visitation may present different facts and circumstances that support or oppose the petitioner's desire for time with their grandkids. Parents may generally voice their concerns when it comes to how their kids will spend their time, but readers with specific inquiries about grandparent visitation may wish to discuss their situation with a family law attorney in their area.

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