Grandparent and Third-Party Rights

What are commonly referred to as Grandparent’s Rights and Third-Party Rights in Arizona is regulated in part by A.R.S. §25-409. When someone is seeking Grandparent or Third-Party Rights they are generally doing so for one of two reasons: the parent(s) are unfit and it is not it the children’s best interests to remain with them or the grandparent/third party has a relationship with the child and the parent is denying visitation. This area of law can be fairly complicated and we recommend you consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your matter.

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Bit of Information:

This page is meant to educate you regarding some of the aspects of Grandparent's and Third-Party Rights in Arizona. Please understand, this page is intended to be educational only and each case has specific issues that may effect the information below. We recommend you consider discussing your matter with an experienced attorney.

Grandparent’s and Third-Party Rights in Arizona

Generally, a person brings this action when it is significantly detrimental for the child to remain with or be placed in the care of the parent(s) or they have some relationship with the child(ren) and the parent is denying visitation.

Parents are not able to care for the child

A third-party may seek placement and legal decision-making for a child other than their own so long as they meet the statutory factors and other applicable law. Some of what the Court considers can be found in A.R.S. §25-409. Some of the statutory elements that must be met are the third-party stands in loco parentis (generally meaning in place of the parent) and it would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the care of either legal parent who wishes to keep or acquire legal decision-making of the child. What is significantly detrimental can include situations where the parent suffers from a substance abuse problem, the children are suffering from abuse or the environment they are living in is not in their best interests. Whether specific situations meet these and the other requirements are determined on a case by case basis and you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney if you are considering this option.

I am not being allowed visitation

If the parent(s) of a child are not allowing a third-party visitation, the third-party may have an ability to petition the Court. The court gives special weight to the wishes of the parents but if the third-party can meet the statutory requirements of A.R.S. §25-409, they may be successful in receiving an award of visitation from the Court. In making the determination, the Court considers all relevant factors. Some of which are: the relationship between the child and the third-party, the motivation of the third-party, the motivation of the parent, how much visitation is being requested and how it impacts the child’s routines, and, where the child’s parents are deceased, the benefit of maintaining the relationship with the third-party. (See A.R.S. §25-409). There may be other considerations and burdens for the third-party to meet. If you are attempting to enforce third-party visitation or object to a third-party’s visitation, you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney.