Families can take many shapes and extended family members are often close to one another. When a child is involved in these situations, difficulties can arise when there is a divorce, a death, or a termination of parental rights. Grandparents often wish to maintain a close relationship with their grandchildren despite the change in familial structure, but, unfortunately, this can often lead to embroiled legal battles. One of these cases arose recently and may help Arizona residents understand what they can do when time with their grandchildren is in jeopardy.
In that case, a young girl’s mother was killed in an accident. The girl’s father tried to care for her as a single father, but after an accident killed the woman he was seeing and he almost lost his leg in another accident, the girl’s grandmother grew concerned about her well-being. Through a legal battle, the girl’s grandparents were able to gain visitation rights, but the girl’s father soon thereafter remarried and his wife adopted the young girl.
The courts at the time thought the adoption cut off any familial relationship with the grandparents, and thus denied the grandparents further visitation. Not long after, the issue went back to court. The court held it was in the child’s best interest to have all parties involved attend counseling, then, once deemed appropriate, the grandparents will be allowed to contact their granddaughter.
Grandparents’ rights cases can be complex and emotionally charged, as can be seen by this case. An Arizona family law attorney can assist grandparents in demonstrating their close bond with their grandchild in an effort to obtain custody rights or visitation rights. To achieve these goals, the lawyer may attempt to show unfit parents are caring for the child and the grandparents are better suited to provide for the child’s needs.
In the end, these cases are about supporting the best interests of the child. Sometimes this means allowing grandparents to play a significant role in the grandchild’s life. An attorney can help in the fight to do what is right for the child.
Source: Telegram.com, “Judge agrees to allow grandmother, granddaughter visitation,” Kim Ring, Dec. 2, 2013