Despite being a loving and involved grandparent, there are numerous ways that you could wind up cut off from your grandkids. Your child could go through a messy breakup or divorce, leading their ex to try to shut out the entire family. Your child running into legal issues or developing drug problems could also inspire the other parent of your grandchildren to limit your contact with them.
If the state intervenes and takes the children away from their parents, the adults at their foster home may also refuse your effort to stay involved with the children. In many ways, your ability to spend time with your grandchildren is dependent on your relationship with the person who has custody of them.
Thankfully, Arizona does support the right of grandparents to protect their relationship with their grandkids, even if one of the parents isn’t enthusiastic about the relationship.
Arizona family law recognizes third-party visitation rights
In most states, only biological or legal parents can request parenting time or visitation unless the state terminates a parent’s rights. However, some states recognize that adults without a parental relationship can still play a very important role in the lives of the children they love.
Third-party adults with pre-existing, beneficial relationships with the children can petition the Arizona family courts for visitation rights. Those asking for visitation need to show that they are stable enough to cooperate with the family schedule and that their presence would benefit the children.
Being a part of the children’s lives, even a few times a month or on birthdays and holidays can be enough to ask for occasional visitation. Even if needing to involve the courts initially strains your relationship with the custodial parent or foster parents, they may eventually respect your dedication to the children.
A formal visitation order can stabilize your relationship
Having your time with your grandchildren dependent on the goodwill of your child or their former partner can be very difficult. You may not know when or if they will allow you communication or time with the children.
Getting formal visitation order through the Arizona family courts can give you frequent access to the children and make you a reliable, regular part of their weekly routine. Understanding your visitation rights as a grandparent can help you ask for them if you have trouble seeing your grandkids.