Some people say that it is a grandparent’s prerogative to spoil their children’s progeny. Spending money on and time with your grandchildren can give you a sense of joy and them a sense of family and support. You may take great pleasure in buying small gifts for your grandchildren, taking them on trips to the zoo or the park, or even having to spend the night at your house for a special sleepover.

Unlike many of your closest relationships, however, the relationship you have with your grandchildren is dependent on the goodwill of the custodial parent. When family situations for your grandchild change, you may find yourself locked out of your grandchild’s life.

Whether the parents got arrested, have had their parental rights terminated by the state or got divorced, you can find yourself in a situation where the person caring for your grandchildren doesn’t want you to see them. Do you have any rights as a grandparent in Arizona?

Arizona recognizes third-party visitation, including for grandparents

Arizona is among several states that recognize that biological or adoptive parents are not the only people who substantially contribute to a child’s development, happiness and success. Extended family and even close family friends who don’t have a biological relationship with the child can also play a substantial role.

Arizona allows third parties, such as grandparents, to seek visitation by petitioning the family courts if they currently can’t have time with their grandchildren.

Does your relationship meet the requirements for grandparent visitation?

In order to secure a visitation order from the courts, you have to demonstrate that you have had a pre-existing relationship with your grandchild and that your visitation with them will be in the children’s best interests.

Provided that you have played a role in the lives of the children and can substantiate that rule with emails, photographs or other evidence of your involvement, the courts will likely agree that your presence in the lives of your grandchildren will benefit them in the long run, even if the situation does create short-term conflict between you and the custodial parent.

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