Nowadays it is not uncommon for grandparents to develop a strong bond with their grandchildren. In fact, in many instances, grandparents essentially raise their grandchildren even though they do not have any legal right to custody. However, despite this strong bond, grandparents may be denied the ability to see their grandchildren if the children's parents divorce and one parent obtains sole custody, or if the parents simply do not want the grandparents to see the children.
Yet, there are legal steps grandparents can take in an attempt to acquire grandparents' visitation rights. Though courts will consider the circumstances surrounding the matter, their sole focus is to reinforce the best interests of the child in question. Therefore, if grandparents can show that they have developed a strong bond with the child and that ceasing the relationship may cause emotional distress, then visitation may be granted.
The law surround grandparents' rights can be difficult to understand. Children may be placed in foster care, adopted, or have parents that are deceased. Each situation may affect a grandparent's rights differently. In order to fully understand the law and ensure that they are doing everything they can to retain their relationship with their grandchild, grandparents in one of these situations should consider consulting with an experienced Arizona family law attorney.
An experienced attorney understands that each grandparents' rights case is unique. However, he or she will diligently work to ensure that he or she portrays to the court why maintaining grandparent-grandchild contact is crucial for the emotional well-being and development of the child. Hopefully, through skilled legal argument and negotiation, grandparents can obtain visitation rights and continue to play an important part in their grandchild's life.
Source: FindLaw, "Requirements for Awarding Grandparent Visitation and Custody," accessed on Nov. 24, 2014