Arizona grandparents may have serious concerns over what will happen to their relationship with their children in the event that the marriage ends or there are disputes over extended family visitation. Grandparents have an important role in the life of their grandkids, and it is a relationship worth protecting.
One of the biggest changes in your family life after divorce may be the way you spend your holidays. If you and your former spouse grew used to going all out and hosting large gatherings for your friends and family in Arizona, your first years of Christmas and other major holidays following divorce may take a bit of getting used to. Especially where your children are concerned, it's important to remember that you are the one who got divorced, not them.
Grandparents who have visitation with a grandchild may face situations where a parent is trying to limit access. In most cases, the first step will likely be to go to mediation to see if some agreement can be reached prior to taking the case to court. A mediator is a third party who goes between both parties to try to work out terms that are agreeable to everyone. In most family law cases, one mediator is used, but parties can also choose to each hire their own mediator and have a third neutral mediator help work out the issues.
In Arizona and other states, courts have upheld the legal rights of grandparents when parental divorce threatens these grandparents' ongoing relationships with their grandchildren. Visitation rights granted to persons other than parents are described as 'in loco parentis" rights, derived from the Latin term meaning 'in place of parents." 'In loco parentis" is a broad term that applies to any legal relationship between a child and an adult that is not the child's parent.
Arizona residents who raise their grandchildren are not alone. U.S. census figures from 2010 show that 4.9 million children are raised by their grandparents. Agencies and communities have come up with ways to help older citizens who are taking care of minors when circumstances no longer allow children to live with their parents.
As many residents of Arizona will know, families can be complicated, especially when they don't get along. Where children are concerned, the matter can be even more involved, as non-custodial parents and grandparents may still want access to the children even if they are in conflict with the other adults involved. Grandparent visitation differs from parental visitation as grandparents generally have fewer rights than parents.