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Third Party Visitation & Custody Lawyer in Gilbert

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Although they may not be the legal parents, grandparents and stepparents form special bonds with the children under their care. When these parties are denied access to the children they love, it can be a devastating and heartbreaking experience. However, Arizona law allows grandparents and stepparents to seek third party visitation or custody in Gilbert under limited circumstances.

If you are filing a third party custody or visitation claim, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help. Our custody lawyer can fight for your rights and advocate for your grandchild or stepchild’s best interests in family court.

Why Choose Us

  • Our family law attorney has over 20 years of experience and specializes in complex child custody and visitation cases, including cases involving stepparents and grandparents.
  • Our Gilbert child custody lawyer will advocate aggressively for your family’s rights and the child’s best interests during each stage of your case.
  • Our lawyer has won multiple awards recognizing her dedication to clients, including the 2019 Maricopa County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers’ Program Attorney of the Year.

Third Party Visitation Rights in Gilbert

When making decisions concerning children, Arizona family courts always consider what is in the best interest of the affected child. Grandparents and stepparents have the right to secure visitation time with a child if a court determines that it is beneficial for the child.

However, you may only seek third party visitation rights in Gilbert if one of the following criteria applies to the case.

  • One of the child’s legal parents is deceased or has been missing for at least three months.
  • The child was born out of wedlock and his or her legal parents are not married.
  • The child’s legal parents are married but working with a Gilbert divorce lawyer and the divorce petition is pending.

The court will consider several factors when deciding whether to grant visitation, including the child’s history with the third party, the motivation for visitation, and any negative impact that the schedule could have on the child’s daily life.

When Can Grandparents or Stepparents Receive Third Party Custody in Gilbert?

In most cases, Arizona courts assume that it is in the child’s best interest to remain in the custody of his or her legal parent. This is not always the case, however, and grandparents or stepparents may want to seek custody. Third parties may receive custody of their stepchildren or grandchildren if they can prove the following criteria.

  • The grandparent or stepparent acted in loco parentis with the child, meaning that he or she filled a parental role.
  • It would be significantly detrimental to the child if the court were to grant custody to his or her legal parents.
  • The court has not entered or approved an order regarding the child’s custody for at least one year. This criterion does not apply if the child is in serious physical, mental, moral, or emotional danger due to his or her environment.
  • One of the following situations apply: The child’s parents are not married to each other, a divorce petition is pending between the child’s parents, or one of the child’s parents is deceased.

Your attorney from the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help you prove each of these criteria and advocate for your stepchild or grandchild’s best interests.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you are a grandparent or stepparent seeking third party custody or visitation in Gilbert, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can fight for your family’s rights. Message us today or call 480-725-1438 to schedule your consultation with our custody and visitation lawyer.

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