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Sun City West and Surprise Grandparents’ Rights Lawyers Assist with Obtaining Visitation

Arizona firm works to maintain strong family bonds

It might be very painful if you’re a grandparent who is unable to see your grandchild. If you believe that you are being unfairly denied access, the Arizona family law attorneys at Pennington Law, PLLC offer knowledgeable counsel on grandparents’ rights issues. From offices in Sun City West and Surprise, we take on visitation and custody matters on behalf of area grandparents.

When are grandparents eligible to seek visitation?

Determining whether a grandparent should have the legal right to see their grandchild can be a complicated process. We recognize that in most families, grandparents provide valuable love and support. On the other hand, the law is clear that parents generally have the legal authority to decide who spends time with their son or daughter. Out of respect for parents’ rights, Arizona only gives grandparents the ability to seek visitation time under the following circumstances:

  • One parent has died
  • One parent has been reported missing for at least three months without being found
  • The parents have been divorced for at least three months
  • The parents were never married

If you qualify, our firm will explain the steps you need to take in order to pursue an order establishing you right to legal visitation.

Factors used in grandparent visitation matters

In a contested grandparent visitation case, judges can examine any factor they believe to be relevant. Often, evidence of the existing grandparent-grandchild relationship is critical. As with other family law matters regarding young people, courts are required to decide what is in the child’s best interests. This usually means evaluating the motivations behind each side’s position and the potential disruption caused by requiring children to spend time with their grandparents.

Filing for grandparent visitation

You can file a Petition for Grandparent Visitation in Maricopa County Superior Court if your minor child has lived in Arizona for at least six months or there is some other connection that allows you to bring the case within the state. With the petition, you are required to file documents detailing your current relationship with your grandchild and the visitation schedule you are seeking. Should the court find that you have the proper grounds, your grandchild’s parent(s) will receive an Order to Appear for a hearing. It could take several months for the court to determine if visitation should be granted.

Grandparents seeking custody instead of visitation

Sometimes, grandparents are the people in the best position to recognize that parents are no longer capable of raising children safely. Seeking child custody is a serious step, but might be warranted if parental violence, substance abuse or neglect puts their son or daughter at risk. Our experienced family lawyers can advise you of the steps that need to be taken whether you are initiating the legal process or believe you offer the best home environment for your grandchildren after the authorities have identified a serious problem that justifies the termination of parental rights.

Contact an Arizona grandparent rights attorney to set up a free consultation

Pennington Law, PLLC, with offices in Sun City West and Surprise, handles issues related to legal paternity for Arizona residents. You can set up a free consultation regarding your legal options by calling 623-229-0463 or contacting us online.