Arizona law recognizes the important role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. The law has put into place protections for grandparents' custodial and visitation rights of their grandchildren. The law also outlines how grandparents may obtain child custody or visitation rights to their grandchildren.
A child's parents are presumed to be the best people to raise the child and Arizona law recognizes this fact. However, there are times when a grandparent may be awarded custody of a grandchild when parents are not present, or are deemed detrimental to the child. Similarly, grandparents have court directions when seeking visitation of their grandchildren. If custodial parents are not allowing grandparents to see their grandchildren, grandparents are able to obtain court-ordered visitation. Visitation is possible in Arizona after a grandparent establishes that a grandparent's visitation is in the best interest of the child.
Visitation and custodial rights can be taken away if grandparents act in a way that harms a child, or breaks the law. Recently, two non-custodial grandparents were arrested and charged with felony interference with custody and felony kidnapping. If convicted, the grandparents could greatly damage their rights for visitation of their grandchild in the future.
The child had been dropped off with her non-custodial grandparents, 38 year- old grandmother and 45year-old grandfather. Authorities say that the grandparents then sent a text to the custodial grandparents received that said they would not be returning the child to her home. At that point, deputies issued an endangered person advisory for child. Police eventually found the child at the grandparent's home.
Child custody can be a very emotional and challenging issue. Family law professionals are available for Arizona residents who are struggling with custody rights and ensure their legal rights are protected.
Source: KMOV, "Missing 2-year-old found in Jefferson Co.; grandparents charged," February 17, 2014