Becoming a grandma and grandpa is such a special feeling. Whether you were happily surprised or eagerly anticipated the birth, you formed a vital bond that spans generations.
It can be excruciatingly painful for both grandparents and children if their relationships are disrupted by divorce. Do Tuscon grandparents have any options to continue seeing their grandchildren if the parents split up? What does the law say?
Arizona provides a path to grandparent visitation
Grandparent visitation rights are not automatically granted when the parents break up. Family law courts have the discretion to award visitation rights to grandparents if:
- The children’s parents were not married
- The marriage was dissolved for 90 days
Grandparents may also lose visitation rights if the children get adopted by someone other than a stepparent.
Other criteria apply
Arizona family law courts are guided by the best interests of the children when considering any custody or visitation arrangements. For instance, if you and the children already established healthy relationships, the courts would not likely want to add to the current disruption in their lives by denying reasonable visitation.
That could conceivably be through an arrangement with your own adult child – the parent of your grandkids. Sometimes, there may be extenuating circumstances where your child cannot exercise their own visitation or custody rights, because of things like working abroad or incarceration. With their permission and/or the permission of the other parent, you can petition the court to award grandparent visitation rights.
What if visitation is contested?
The courts will weigh both sides and determine whether granting grandparent visitation best represents the children’s interest as defined under Arizona law.