Understanding In Loco Parentis

If you are acting as a parent without being the legal parent, you may be in loco parentis.

In Loco Parentis

According to A.R.S. 25-401, any “person who has been treated as a parent by a child and who has formed a meaningful parental relationship with a child for a substantial period of time” stands in loco parentis to the child. Essentially, they are acting as the parent in every way but the legal definition of the word.

A person currently standing in loco parentis to a child is able to petition the court for legal decision-making of that child, per Arizona’s third party rights. This petition requires the person filing to satisfy other requirements as well, which can be read about in our third party rights article.

A common example of an in loco parentis relationship is a grandparent raising their grandchild, however it can apply to any family member, such as an older sibling raising their younger sibling, or an aunt raising their nephew. It can also apply to an individual who is otherwise completely unrelated by blood, such as a neighbor or family friend.


If you are currently standing in loco parentis to a child and would like to petition for legal decision-making rights, reach out to the family law attorneys at Rideout Law Group today.


Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling family law cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.


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