Grandparents' Rights Article


Grandparents’ Rights or Third Party Rights – Legal Decision-Making

Arizona Revised Statute 25-409 talks about third party custody rights regarding minors – where someone other than the legal parent may petition the superior court for the legal decision making authority or the placement of a child. There are four things the court will initially review:

1. The person filing the petition stands in loco parentis (Latin for ‘in the place of a parent’) to the child.

 2. It would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the care of either legal parent who wishes to keep or acquire legal decision-making.

 3. A court of competent jurisdiction has not entered or approved an order concerning legal decision-making or parenting time within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this section, unless there is reason to believe the child’s present environment may seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

4. One of the following applies:

 (a) One of the legal parents is deceased.

 (b) The child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

 (c) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

 A third party must show clear and convincing evidence that awarding legal decision-making to a legal parent is not consistent with the child’s best interests.

 To read this statute in full: http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/25/00409.htm

You can often contact your county clerk for information on forms to file.

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  • I have raised my grandaughter since she was six months and she is now 7 yrs old. My son lives with me and has legal guardianship over her. Her mother came and got her two days ago stating she now wants to raise her. What legal grounds do I have or what can I do to obtain guardianship over her?
  • My wife's parents are a not good influence on our family and we have told them to stay away. They refuse, and have gone as far as just sitting on my front porch in the heat refusing to leave after being told to leave so many times it makes my head spin. They wont tell us but they have told (someone that wont be named) that they would seek a lawyer to see there grand kids. Do they have any right at all to do that? we are married and are doing great, except when they are around. were a little scared and need to know if there is anyway they could side step (us) the parents and get visitation.
  • My son and both jail, the maternal grandmother was given custody of their two children by CPS. do I as the paternal grandmother have the right to file for custody? if so, what are my chances of getting custody?
  • do I lose my rights to my child if a grandparent is apointed permanent guardian?
  • i need to establish my grandparenting rights to c.p.s. in AZ. i need to do this very soon for i have heard they (c.p.s.) may be planning to send my grandaughter to N.Y. to be with 'next of kin' her mother has stated the child has NO family here in AZ. truthfully she has more family here on my side (the fathers) than ever in N.Y. please help?!?!?!
  • I am about to become a grandmother in December ~ my first ~ my daughter-in-law is making statements that she does not possibly want their child to have my son's last name, but rather her maiden name. I am not sure where she is going with this scenario, but I suspect she is anticipating something that would separate relationships between us. Is there any law that would allow the child to not take on our family name. Please advise. Thank you.
  • I have established a visitation agreement with my daughters paternal grandmother (father side) and we have only had one visitation on Oct 5th. The last two visits she knew about a month before they were supposed to happen and the times. Both times she made an excuse as to why she couldn't make it at the very last minute and they were silly excuses(job for first excuse and 2nd can't find the place but she was across the street??)I feel that she is violating the order, what can I do?
  • Our duaughter will not let us see our 2 yr old granddaughter. This may sound petty, and it is. It stems from a year ago, when we told her and her husband that they had to move out of our house. They had been living with us For over a year, with no plans to move forward any time soon. They were taking advantage, and their pets and they were destroying our house. They had a new baby, and we took care of her while they worked, and we worked also.. The time came that we had to tell them to go, after our daughter became verbally abusive to me one day. Are their rights for us at all?
  • So, for the first year of my son's life, I lived with my mother while raising my son.Now he's 2 and he has only lived with me... and the father is not on the birth certificate.The fathers parents see my son when I can bring him... I only have Sunday and Monday off and my son has had a consistent routine with days at daycare, coming home to eat etc... Apparently I voiced my concern that I would like to go to church with my son for his firsttime with them and the grandparent stated he would go file for rights to have whatever time he wanted with my son including over weekends...Is that true?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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