Grandparents' Rights

questions & answers

Question: I have full legal sole custody of my daughter with her father having supervised visitation. He hasn't utilized his visitation in 6 months and hasn't paid child support in 3 years. His parents live in Delaware and visit every 1-2 years. I allow them to see my daughter but she is not comfortable going alone as she barely remembers them when she sees them. His parents are threatening to take me to court, do they have a case even though I let them see her but don't let them take her unsupervised? She is 6.

Answer:

"Grandparents' Rights" are listed under A.R.S. 25-409. This statute can be found on the Arizona Legislative site at http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/25/00409.htm

In order for this statute to apply a family must meet one of the below criteria under section A:

1. The person filing the petition stands in loco parentis to the child.

2. It would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the care of either legal parent who wishes to keep or acquire legal decision-making.

3. A court of competent jurisdiction has not entered or approved an order concerning legal decision-making or parenting time within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this section, unless there is reason to believe the child's present environment may seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

4. One of the following applies:

(a) One of the legal parents is deceased.

(b) The child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

(c) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

If your family qualifies under one of the above statements then section E would apply. Section E states:

E. In deciding whether to grant visitation to a third party, the court shall give special weight to the legal parents' opinion of what serves their child's best interests and consider all relevant factors including:

1. The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.

2. The motivation of the requesting party seeking visitation.

3. The motivation of the person objecting to visitation.

4. The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child's customary activities.

5. If one or both of the child's parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship. You may want to contact an attorney to see what your rights are in granting visitation for the grandparents.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I have full legal sole custody of my daughter with her father having supervised visitation. He hasn't utilized his visitation in 6 months and hasn't paid child support in 3 years. His parents live in Delaware and visit every 1-2 years. I allow them to see my daughter but she is not comfortable going alone as she barely remembers them when she sees them. His parents are threatening to take me to court, do they have a case even though I let them see her but don't let them take her unsupervised? She is 6.

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