In some cases, grandparents have difficulty spending time with their grandchildren because of problems in their relationship with their own child, or because their child has died and the other parent is denying or restricting access. Arizona law allows grandparents and other persons that are close to the children to petition the court to request court ordered visitation. Arizona law also allows a grandparent or other persons that are close to the children to petition for what is called In Loco Parentis custody.
The court, in the family law case, can actually award custody to the grandparents instead of the parents. However, this is not an easy thing to do and there has to be evidence that it would be significantly detrimental to the children to be in the custody of either parent. If both parents are not fit to parent, this is an alternative to filing for termination of parental rights or filing for a private dependency in juvenile court.
If you are a grandparent and considering filing for grandparents’ visitation or for custody, give me a call for a free consultation where we can discuss whether you would have a valid case to ask the court for visitation or custody.