In Arizona, a grandparent may have the right to visitation if the parents’ marriage has been dissolved for three months or a parent has been missing for over three months. If the child’s parent has been reported missing or deceased, a grandparent may have visitation rights to the child. When a child is adopted, those rights may be terminated unless the adoption is by a stepparent.
When determining the extent of a grandparent’s custody rights, there are many issues that a court will consider. First, it will have to determine if allowing visitation is in the best interest of the child. This is done by asking the parents what their wishes are as well as asking the child what his or her wishes are. Courts will also consider the depth of the relationship between the grandparent and grandchild.
The mental and physical health of a grandparent will also be considered when determining visitation or custody rights to a child. It may also be necessary to think about how the child would adjust to living in a grandparent’s home or possible spending time in another community where the grandparent lives. In the event that living with a grandparent also forces the child to change schools, a judge will have to consider whether that would be in the child’s best interest.
In a child custody case, it is important that anyone seeking custody can watch out for the best interest of the child. This may mean providing the child with a safe home in a familiar area. It may also mean that the caregiver is mentally and physically able to watch the child. Talking to a family law attorney may help a grandparent obtain custody or visitation rights to his or her grandchild.