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Third Party Visitation & Custody Lawyer in Tempe

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After a divorce or separation, a child’s parents may enter into custody proceedings and split parenting time and decision making between themselves. However, these arrangements may not be in the best interest of the child, and someone else other than the legal parents may want to intervene. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible for a grandparent, sibling, or stepparent to receive third party visitation or custody rights in Tempe. In such situations, you need an experienced third party custody and visitation lawyer to fight for the child’s best interests—and the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help.

Why Choose Us

  • Our attorney, Karen Schoenau, specializes in complex child custody claims and holds over 20 years of experience in Arizona family law.
  • We understand the complexities of child custody cases and will provide you with the compassion and support you need throughout your case.
  • Our firm prioritizes the child’s needs in every decision we make and will advocate aggressively for his or her best interests from consultation to settlement.

Third Party Visitation Rights in Tempe

Arizona grandparents, stepparents, and other third parties have the right to obtain visitation time if the court determines that it is in the child’s best interest. However, a third party is only eligible to petition for visitation if one of the following circumstances apply 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 parents are not married to each other.
  • The child’s legal parents are married but a divorce is pending.

The court will consider several factors when deciding whether to award visitation time, such as the relationship between the child and the third party. The court will also analyze the third party’s motivation for seeking visitation and the impact that the visitation could have on the child’s activities, schedule, and relationship with his or her legal parents.

Can a Third Party Take Custody of a Child?

Arizona courts make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child, and often assume that remaining in the legal parents’ care is the most beneficial for the child. There are some situations, however, in which a third party may want to seek custody.

The court may grant custody to a third party if he or she acted in loco parentis to the child. In loco parentis is a legal term that means a person who is not the child’s legal parent has been treated as a parent by the child. This relationship must be meaningful and have occurred over a substantial period of time.

To obtain third party custody in Tempe, it must be proven that the following facts are true.

  • The third party acted in loco parentis to the child.
  • It would be detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the custody of his or her legal parents.
  • The court has not entered or approved a custody order on the child’s behalf within one year. This factor does not apply if the child’s present environment poses a serious danger to him or her.
  • One of the child’s legal parents is deceased, the legal parents are not married to each other, or a divorce is pending.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are seeking custody or visitation as a third party, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can fight for your rights. Message us or call us at 480-467-3435 to schedule a consultation with a Tempe third party custody and visitation lawyer.

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