Phoenix Grandparent Custody Lawyers

The laws governing divorce and custody in the state of Arizona can be complex. Have a skilled and compassionate advocate on your side when seeking custodial rights of your grandchildren. At Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb, our Phoenix grandparent custody attorneys use the power of the law to seek the best outcome possible for you and your grandchildren. Here is a basic outline of how grandparent custody cases play out in the state:

Grandparent Visitation

The state of Arizona has a provision that allows grandparents to have visitation rights, even over the objection of one or both parents. To achieve your visitation rights, however, you need to provide sufficient evidence (the courts deem this as a 51% probability) that your visits are in the best interest of the child. In addition to this, one of the following must be true:

  • The grandparent seeking visitation is the parent of the child’s non-custodial parent and the divorce has been finalized for at least three months.
  • The grandparent is a parent of a non-custodial parent who has been deceased or missing for at least three months.
  • The parents of the child were never married.

In determining the extent of the grandparents’ interest in the child, the courts will consider:

  • The history of the relationship between the child and the grandparent(s)
  • The motivation of the grandparent(s)
  • The motivation of the parents denying visitation
  • The impact of visitation on the child’s life and daily activities

Custodial Rights

In the state of Arizona, grandparents have the option of petitioning for custody of their grandchildren, provided they fit the criteria. Generally, grandparents petition the court for custody if they serve in loco parentis, or in place of the parent. Under Arizona law, the following must also apply:

  • The custody case must have not been decided upon within the past year, unless the child is in potential danger.
  • It must be detrimental to the child to remain in the current parents’ custody.
  • The current parents are in the process of getting divorced, one of the parents is deceased or the parents were never married.

Remember that in these cases the accuser must provide sufficient proof that the child is not best serviced in his or her present home. The courts will presume the child is best suited to remain in the parents’ custody unless you can prove otherwise. Parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, and to win a custodial case, it is imperative to prove to the court that the child’s current upbringing is not in his or her best interest. Generally, we can do this by providing convincing evidence that remaining with the custodial parent will create an adverse effect on the emotional, physical or mental health of the child.

Winning a Third Party Custody Case

Third party custodial rights can be notoriously hard to petition, which is why it is imperative that you have an experienced legal team in your corner. At Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb, we have been pursuing custodial rights for our clients since 1985. Like the court system, we believe passionately in doing what is in the best interest of the child. When we take on your case, we work hard to establish that the child will be best served under your care.

If you are concerned about the well-being of your grandchild, contact us immediately for a free consultation. We will review the facts of your case and let you know if you meet the criteria to file for third party custody. Once we discuss your claim, we will work aggressively to get your grandchildren safely in your custody. Do not tackle a custody case without experienced legal help. Contact our office today.