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Grandparent's Rights

When can I bring a suit in court to establish my visitation rights as a Grandparent?

Grandparents can bring suit regarding visitation when either parents' marriage is dissolved for at least three months, a parent of the child is deceased or missing for at least three months and that parent is reported missing, or a child is born out of wedlock. The procedures for grandparents to bring suit for visitation are outlined in A.R.S. § 25-409.

What will the court look for in determining whether Grandparents should have court-ordered visitation?

The court considers all relevant factors including:  (1) the historical relationship between the child and the person seeking visitation, (2) the motivation of the person seeking visitation, (3) the motivation of the person denying visitation, (4) the quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child's customary activities, and (5) if one of both of the child's parents are dead, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship. A.R.S. § 25-409(C).

Do I have any visitation rights if my grandchild is adopted?

Visitation rights automatically terminate upon placement for adoption unless the adoption is by a step-parent. A.R.S. § 25-409(F).

Do I have to go to a judge to protect my visitation rights as a Grandparent?

Grandparents can request mediation in the Family Center of the Conciliation Court of Pima County Superior Court. They request mediation using the parent's divorce, guardianship, or special paternity docket number. Use of the Family Center of the Conciliation Court is free to the public.

Can I seek custody of my grandchild(ren)?

Yes, a child custody proceeding may also be commenced in the superior court by a person other than a legal parent by filing a verified petition, or by a petition supported by an affidavit, in the county in which the child permanently resides. The petition shall include detailed facts supportingthe petitioner's right to file the petition. The court outlines its requirements for such a petition in A.R.S. § 25-415.

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