Many child custody rights cases center on a divorcing couple with each parent seeking some form of custody and/or visitation. However, some custody disputes involve grandparents, and Arizona residents should be aware of these Grandparents' rights. These rights can come into play in several types of situations, and one recent judgment helps highlight one of them.
In that case, a set of grandparents were granted custody of their three grandchildren after months of court appearances and home visits. The custody issue arose when a fourth grandchild was killed in the mother's home when, playing on a stove unsupervised, the appliance fell on him. The state took custody of the three remaining children and was faced with the possibility of placing the children in separate homes. The grandparents fought to prevent the separation from happening and were successful.
This case highlights an instance where the children at issue have unfit parents. If the grandchildren's parents are deemed unfit to care for them, the grandparents can petition the court for custody. A family law attorney experienced with grandparents' rights can help develop a legal argument that demonstrates how grandparent custody is in the best interest of the child. This often requires showing how the grandparents are able to provide for the child's needs.
Another situation where grandparents' rights can arise is in typical divorce cases where the grandparents have a close bond with the grandchildren. In these instances, the grandparents can seek visitation rights. Though these visitation rights may not be as generous as those granted to the child's parents, they could be as often as every other weekend.
The bond between a grandparent and a grandchild can be strong. No matter which situation one finds herself in, she should not allow that bond to be broken by a divorce or a child's unfit parent. To protect the relationship, grandparents who wind up in one of these positions should seek help from an experienced Tucson family law attorney who will fight for their rights.
Source: Lex 18 News, "Custody Battle Over For Rowan County Grandparents," Oct. 4, 2013