Even if it happens when one’s child has reached adulthood, one of the saddest things a Phoenix, Arizona, parent may have to go through in their lives is the death of their children. Sadly, a grandparent can lose their adult child to an accident or an illness that set on relatively early in life. It can only make it more difficult if the child who dies has children of his or her own with whom the grandparents have developed a bond. The other parent may not have gotten along with the family, or even the child’s parent, and thus may not want the grandparents to see the grandchildren now that the other parent has died. This situation can occur even in what seemed like a healthy relationship, as the grief of losing someone, a spouse or a significant other, can cause another person to behave in ways one would not expect.
Fortunately, these are the sorts of situations for which grandparent visitation was designed. These are arguably more compelling situations for grandparents to ask for court-ordered visitation rights, because they likely had a good relationship with the grandchildren and, through no fault of their own, they now risk losing even that relationship.
The law in Arizona allows grandparents to ask for visitation with their grandchildren when the child’s parent, and the grandparent’s own child, have died. However, the grandparents will still need to show that visits are in the grandchildren’s best interests, and this would include proving that they have had a solid and consistent relationship with their grandchildren.
Still, the good news is that there is a way for grandparents who have lost an adult child to at least avoid also effectively losing their relationship with their grandchildren too. Grandparents in this situation would likely benefit from getting more information about the applicable law.