Divorce and issues relating to child support and child custody are not new issues; they have existed for decades and many family law attorneys are very familiar with the laws and possible resolutions. However, there are some issues related to child custody that are not as commonly discussed but that nevertheless are very important to those people experiencing them. One of those lesser-discussed issues is grandparent visitation.
When parents separate or divorce, it is often complicated enough for the two parents to agree on custody and visitation arrangements. As a result, grandparents often get left out of the discussion. When one parent is awarded primary legal or physical custody, however, and does not have an amicable relationship with the other parent, the custodial parent may not be eager or willing to let the parents of the non-custodial parent have much contact with the children. In most cases, this is a devastating result that separates grandparents from their grandchildren unnecessarily.
We understand the importance of maintaining family relationships regardless of the marital status — or the ability to get along — of the two parents. Unfortunately, Arizona law does not always make it easy for grandparents to maintain such a relationship, or secure regular visitation, with their grandchildren. Although the law does provide a way for grandparents to get a court order guaranteeing visitation rights, it requires more than simply showing the grandparent-grandchild relationship. The petitioning grandparent must prove that he or she has a relationship with the grandchild that is both significant and positive and that he or she is currently being denied contact.
Our firm has experience with these delicate issues and can advise grandparents who are seeking to maintain contact with their grandchildren about what legal rights they possess. In addition to advising grandparents in situations where visitation is being denied, we can also provide guidance and assistance when a grandparent believes that his or her grandchild is in danger while in the parent’s care. If you have questions about how we can assist you in protecting your grandchild or your relationship with him or her, please visit our grandparents’ rights page.