When parents go through a divorce, it is not just the parents and the children who experience changes because of this decision. The impacts of this decision can reverberate throughout an entire extended family, also affecting the relationship a kid has with his or her grandparents. This may leave some grandparents wondering if they have grounds to pursue custody or visitation.
In some specific circumstances, grandparents may be able to seek visitation with their grandkids. In other cases, it may be appropriate for this extended family member to seek custody. If you are a grandparent and are wondering if Arizona laws provide you with the opportunity to preserve the relationship you have with your kids, you may want to seek experienced guidance to help you navigate this complex situation.
Factors the courts will consider
If you decide that you would like to petition the court for custody or visitation of your child, it can help to remember that the primary goal of any decision the court makes will be to preserve the best interests of the child above all else. The court will look at various factors, primarily concerned with what will provide the child with as much security, stability and support as possible. Some of the things it will look at include the following:
- The physical and emotional needs of the child
- The preferences and opinion of the child
- The ability of the parents to properly care for the child
- The length of the relationship between child and grandparent
- The nature of the relationship between child and grandparent
- Any abuse suspected from either the grandparent or the parents
- Physical distance between the grandchild and grandparents
All of these things and others will affect how a court looks at your petition and decides whether visitation or even custody is appropriate for the child. These types of proceedings are often complicated, pitting parents against grandparents. If possible, you may want to seek a negotiated or thoughtfully discussed resolution to this problem out of court.
Help on your side
If you have to walk through the complicated process of seeking custody or visitation through the court, you do not have to face it alone. You will find it beneficial to work with an attorney who can help you understand grandparents’ rights and what options are available to you under the law. If you are unsure of where to start or what to do, it can help to simply seek an assessment of your case.