Written by attorney Sherynn J Perry


Do grandparents have visitation rights?

In the state of Arizona, A.R.S. § 25-409 governs the visitation rights of grandparents and great-grandparents. This statutory provision allows grandparents to have visitation with their grandchild(ren) despite a parent's objection. In order to secure visitation with a grandchild, (1) the grandparent must overcome the presumption that the parent always acts "in the best interest of the child," and (2) the grandparent must prove that access to the grandparents is in the child's best interest.

Under certain circumstances, Arizona courts seek to preserve a beneficial and ongoing relationship between grandchildren and their grandparents. To secure grandparent visitation, a grandparent must prove to the Court that harm will occur to the grandchild in the absence of visitation. This is a difficult burden of proof to sustain, and a grandparent needs a qualified and experienced attorney to assist in establishing a grandparent’s visitation rights. If you are a grandparent who previously enjoyed regular visits with your grandchildren but are now being unreasonably denied any visitation, an experienced family law attorney can assist you in securing visitation rights to your grandchildren.

Similarly, if you are a parent who believes that one of your child's grandparents has (or is attempting to) overstep your parental rights, you have recourse. Parents have a fundamental right to the care, custody, and control of their child, and only a compelling interest would be sufficient to allow the Court to interfere with the parent's right to raise a child without such interference. A qualified family law attorney should be experienced at enforcing a parent’s constitutional rights, and will be able to assist you in enforcing your parental discretion.

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