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Scottsdale Grandparent Custody and Visitation Lawyer

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Under Arizona law, grandparents may have certain rights to custody and visitation with their grandchildren. Grandparents’ custody rights in Scottsdale should be balanced with parents’ constitutional right of control over their children. At the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, we are dedicated to protecting both a grandparent’s right to have access to their grandchildren and a parent’s right to protect their children.

We know that each family is different. Sometimes grandparents’ right to see their grandchildren can be critical to the life of those children. Other times, parents may want to prevent that visitation from occurring. Regardless of your situation, we can help.

We use forceful advocacy and more than two decades of experience to help families achieve the best possible results in cases involving grandparents’ custody rights in Scottsdale. We have built a history of success in this area and we continue to strive for positive results in every case we take on. Contact us to schedule a case consultation with one of our attorneys.

Why Choose Us

  • Our firm focuses on complex child custody cases and understands the intricacies of grandparent rights. We will leverage our experience, resources, and skills to advocate aggressively for your rights.
  • Our founding Scottsdale divorce attorney, Karen Schoenau, has over 20 years of experience in Arizona family law and has won awards and distinctions recognizing her dedication to our clients, including the 2019 Maricopa County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers’ Program Attorney of the Year. She also handled a case that was on the front lines of grandparents’ rights in Arizona.
  • Our firm has been successful in attaining custody and visitation rights for grandparents through the in loco parentis law as well as through guardianship, dependency proceedings, and the grandparents visitation statute. In addition, we have successfully represented parents who have good faith reasons for limiting grandparent access.
  • Grandparent custody and visitation cases in Scottsdale can be complex and emotional proceedings. Our firm will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf and provide you with guidance, support, and compassion from consultation to resolution.

Protecting the Rights of Arizona Children

When making decisions concerning children, Arizona courts prioritize the children’s best interests. If a custody arrangement or visitation request would not be beneficial for the child, the court will likely deny it. Courts consider a number of relevant factors when determining whether a decision meets a child’s needs.

At the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, we follow this model when creating case strategies and representing our clients. Our firm seeks to secure the best resolution possible for children and will work closely with you to determine your child’s needs. This mindset helps us work toward an optimal outcome for our clients and their families.

The Best Interests of the Child in an Scottsdale Grandparent Custody Case

In determining grandparents’ visitation rights, the court considers the best interests of the grandchildren. To determine what those best interests are, judges weigh the following factors under Arizona law:

  • History of the relationship between the child and the grandparent seeking visitation.
  • Reason the grandparent seeks visitation.
  • Reason of the parent or other person denying or limiting visitation.
  • The visitation offered by the parent.
  • Quality of the visitation time and the potential impact that visitation will have on the child’s activities.
  • If the child’s parents have passed away, the benefit of maintaining a relationship with the grandparents.
  • What type of contact is in the best interests of the child.

Can Scottsdale Grandparents Receive Custody Rights?

In limited circumstances, Arizona courts may grant grandparents custody over their grandchildren. According to Arizona Statute 25-409, however, you will need to prove that all of the following facts are true in order to secure custody.

  • You stand in loco parentis to your grandchild. In loco parentis is a legal term that means that you were treated as a parent by your grandchild and that you developed a meaningful parental relationship with him or her for a period of time.
  • It would be significantly detrimental to your grandchild’s well-being to remain or be placed in the custody of his or her legal parents.
  • A court with jurisdiction over the custody arrangements has not entered a custody order concerning your grandchild within one year. This does not apply if your grandchild’s safety is endangered by his or her environment.
  • One of the legal parents is deceased, the parents are not married to each other, or a divorce is pending between the parents.

How to Apply for Grandparent Parental Rights, Can Grandparent Rights be Revoked?

In Arizona, a grandparent may petition the family court for legal visitation or custody of a child. An experienced grandparent custody rights attorney in Arizona can ensure that the grandparents are best able to offer the care and supervision that a child needs. Applying for these rights requires the grandparent to follow the steps listed below:

  1. File a petition: The first step is filing a petition requesting visitation or custody of the grandchild. This application will include details about the child, the grandparent’s relationship with them, and reasons why the grandparent believes that a legal custody or visitation agreement is in the child’s best interest.
  2. Parents must be served: The parents must be served with a copy of the petition by mail, personal service, or publication. The circumstances may vary.
  3. Hearing: There will be a family court hearing that should be attended by the grandparent, parents, and other parties who can testify to the nature of the case.

Grandparents’ rights can be revoked in some circumstances. For example, if the parents regained custody of the child, the grandparents’ custody agreement would be terminated. A grandparent’s right to custody or visitation could be revoked if the child’s safety and well-being is in question.

Visitation for Scottsdale Grandparents

Grandparents have the right to seek visitation with their grandchildren if the court believes it would be in their best interest. You have the right to petition the court for visitation if one of the following circumstances applies to your case.

  • One of the child’s legal parents has been deceased or missing for at least three months.
  • The child’s legal parents have been divorced for at least three months.
  • The child was born out of wedlock and his or her legal parents were never married.

When determining whether grandparent visitation would be in the best interest of your grandchild, the court will consider several important factors. For example, it will examine the relationship between you and your grandchild and your motivation for seeking visitation. The court will also consider why the child’s legal parents may be denying visitation to you, and whether the visitation schedule you are seeking would have an adverse impact on the child’s well-being. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can prove that visitation would be beneficial to your grandchild and advocate for your rights.

How Can a Grandparent Custody Lawyer Help?

Having an experienced attorney with prior success in these matters is beneficial to grandparents who are trying to look out for the best interests of their grandchildren through legal custody or visitation. There are several ways that a grandparent custody lawyer may help. Below are some examples:

  • Legal advice: An attorney has the ability to guide and direct the grandparent about their rights and how to exercise them in the state of Arizona.
  • Constructing a strong case: A lawyer will help a grandparent to gather and organize evidence to present that will support their case. This might include testimony from friends and family or child development experts.
  • Provide an explanation: A legal team will help the grandparent understand the legality of the case and the standard that the court will use to decide it.
  • Representation in court: The grandparent’s attorney will represent them in court, arguing on their behalf and advocating for their rights if the parents are opposed to the grandparent’s request for custody or visitation.
  • Parental negotiations: Sometimes, grandparents need help negotiating with the parents. An attorney can do this. By negotiating, it is possible to save the grandparent money, time, and emotional distress while preserving the relationship with the child’s parent.
  • Appeals representation: When the decision is not in the grandparent’s favor, they could decide to appeal the court’s ruling. An attorney can navigate the appeals process for them and develop a strong strategy for a more positive outcome.

A grandparent custody attorney provides the legal expertise necessary to represent and guide the grandparent through the process of obtaining visitation rights or custody. They will work in the child’s best interest to ensure that the grandparent can play an active role in ensuring their safety and well-being.

Talk to Our Scottsdale Grandparents’ Rights Attorney About Your Arizona Visitation or Custody Matter

When you have questions about your rights as a grandparent, talk to our experienced lawyer. Get real answers that apply to your situation. Contact us at (480) 209-1918 or online.

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