Previous posts on this blog have discussed what Arizona law requires of Phoenix grandparents who want to have court-ordered visits with their grandchildren. To summarize, Arizona law makes it hard, but not impossible, for grandparents to have sanctioned visits with their grandkids even when the children's parents do not approve of the visits.
The practical side of this is that judges are going to be looking for evidence, presented in the form of witness testimony, documents or other exhibits, that will show the court that it is in the children's best interests to award grandparents' visitation. It is important for grandparents to remember, though, that, in Arizona, grandparents actually need to show how not having regular contact with them could actually hurt the children.
Because court look at a number of factors when deciding whether to award children's grandparents the right to visitation, there are a number of types of evidence a grandparent might consider offering in support of their request. Of course, exactly what evidence grandparents should present in a given case is really a question for their attorneys.
In general, a grandparent might want to or even need to show that a child lives in an unstable home with his or her parents, and could use the presence of grandparents in his or her life. In other cases, even evidence of the distance between the grandparents and grandchild can be important.
In many if not most situations, grandparents are going to want to provide the court evidence that they have a strong, longstanding relationship with their grandchildren that has been cut off. After all, it is much easier for an Arizona judge to understand why grandparents want to see their grandchildren when there is an established relationship that has recently been cut off.
While it may be an uphill battle, it is important that grandparents' rights are protected. The bond between a grandparent and his or her grandchildren can be strong, so anything that severs that bond deserves careful attention so that the appropriate actions are taken.