Visitation Rights by Someone Other than a Legal Parent: Arizona Laws
In Arizona, “visitation” is defined as a schedule of time that occurs with a child by someone other than a legal parent. Such visitation is detailed under the Arizona statute regarding third-party rights according to A.R.S. 25-409.
A person who is not a child’s legal parent may petition the superior court for visitation with a child if they find such visitation is in the best interests of the child, as long as the following are also true:
- One of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing at least three months.
- The child was born out of wedlock and the child’s legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.
- For grandparent or great-grandparent visitation, the marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved for at least three months.
- For in loco parentis visitation, a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.
Visitation petitions must include a supporting affidavit detailing facts to support the claim of the petitioner. In deciding whether to grant visitation to a non-legal parent, the court gives special weight to the legal parents’ opinion of what serves their child’s best interests. Relevant factors considered include:
- The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.
- The motivation of the requesting party seeking visitation.
- The motivation of the person objecting to visitation.
- The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child’s customary activities.
- If one or both of the child’s parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.
Any granted visitation rights automatically terminate if the child is adopted or placed for adoption.
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 visitation cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.