Under the Arizona grandparent visitation statute, grandparents may be granted visitation rights if the court finds that it would be in the child’s best interests and one of the following conditions exists:
- the child’s parents’ marriage has been dissolved for at least three months
- a parent of the child has been deceased or missing for at least three months; or
- the child was born out of wedlock.
In determining the child’s best interests, the court will consider all relevant factors, including the historical relationship between the child and the grandparent; the motivation of the party seeking visitation and the motivation of the party denying visitation; the amount of visitation time requested and the impact that visitation will have on the child’s customary activities; and, if one or both of the child’s parents are dead, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.
If logistically possible and appropriate, the court will order visitation by a grandparent to occur when the child is residing or spending time with the parent through whom the grandparent claims a right of access to the child. A grandparent seeking to obtain visitation rights must petition for those rights in the same action in which the parents had their marriage dissolved. If no action for dissolution has been filed or if the court entering the decree of dissolution no longer has jurisdiction, a separate action must be filed by the grandparent in the county in which the child resides.
All visitation rights granted to a grandparent automatically terminate if the child has been adopted or placed for adoption. Thus, visitation rights granted to a grandparent will automatically terminate if the custodial parent’s new spouse adopts the child.
The above article is an excerpt from Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, 2nd Edition (Fenestra Books, 2012), by Donald A. Loose, republished with the author’s permission.
Disclaimer: Laws change constantly. Specific legal advice should be obtained regarding any legal matter. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created.
Don likes to target shoot, scuba dive, and pilot airplanes. Most recently, he has been working on his golf handicap. Don enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with his wife, twin sons, and golden retriever, Lucy.