Grandparents Rights Lawyer in Phoenix
In 1983, Arizona state laws were amended by ARS §25-409 to include legal visitation rights for grandparents and great-grandparents. Again, the best interests of the child are still the basis for decisions on visitation, custody and adoption. Certain qualifications must be met, so if you are a grandparent or great-grandparent seeking legal visitation rights, contact the Phoenix, AZ, law office of Cosmas Onyia to determine what your legal rights actually are in your individual case.
Cosmas Onyia, P.C.
Grandparents work with the law firm of Cosmas Onyia, P.C., to protect their rights and that of their grandchildren to have a relationship. Many parents restrict visitation for reasons the court would find unacceptable. Attorney Cosmas Onyia has helped numerous grandparents get legal visitation rights during his legal career. He welcomes challenges and is an aggressive advocate for his clients in mediation and in the courtrooms of Arizona.
The best interest of a minor child always includes making sure that the child will have their physical and financial needs met. In the case of Grandparents’ Rights in Arizona, a fight for custody must meet these tests:
- Grandparent must stand in loco parentis, providing all/some care of the child
- Remaining in parent custody must be detrimental to that child’s best interests
- Legal parents must be getting a divorce or separation, be never or one parent deceased
To gain visitation rights, the grandparent must establish one of the following:
- Parents are divorced 3 months and the grandparent is the parent of the non-custodial parent
- One of the child’s parents is missing or deceased
- Parents of the child were never married
In addition to the above, the court will consider the history of the child/grandparent relationship, the motivation of both the grandparent and parent, how visitation will impact the child’s life, and how the visitation will benefit the child when one or both parents are deceased.
FAQ About Grandparents Rights
What factors does the court consider when granting visitation rights to grandparents?
Several key factors play a role in the court’s decision. Among them:
- Whether there is a relationship between the child and the grandparent seeking visitation
- What the motivation is in seeking visitation rights.
- Why the parent denies these rights and what their motivation is to do so.
- How much visitation time is being requested.
- Whether the visitation will adversely impact the child’s regular activities.
- The benefits these rights would contribute towards extended family relationships, especially in cases where one of the parents is deceased.
How can a grandparent convince the court that visitation would be in the child’s best interests?
Working with your Phoenix Family Law Attorney Cosmas Onyia will provide you with a strategic argument to present to the court to convince the judge that having visitation privileges with your grandchild is in their best interest. These are some of the arguments that might be presented:
- That the relationship between you and your grandchild exists and it is solid, positive, and beneficial.
- That your motives for seeking this right stem from the love you feel for them and is legitimate.
- That you have reason to believe that the parent who is standing between you and the grandchild has an ulterior motive for preventing you from having contact with the child.
- That the time you will spend with your grandchild will be beneficial to you and the child.
Why do grandparents fight for custody of their grandchildren?
There are many reasons why grandparents may want to obtain custody of their grandchildren, it could be because they believe that:
- The parents are unfit.
- There has been a history of drug or alcohol abuse in the home.
- The children have been abused or neglected.
- The parents are unable to support the children.
- One parent is mentally ill, incarcerated, or addicted and the other one is absent
If this is your case, reach out to Phoenix Family Law Attorney Cosmas Onyia for support in gaining custody of your grandchildren.
In what situations might a grandparent be granted custody of the child?
Always keeping the child’s wellbeing as the top priority, there are certain circumstances where granting custody to the grandparent is the best solution. In Arizona, if the grandparent has been treated as a parent by the child, a legal concept defined as “in loco parentis”, and formed a solid and meaningful relationship with the child, the grandparent may be granted custody of the grandchild. For this to happen, the grandparent must prove that:
- They have stood in loco parentis to the child.
- Placing the child in the custody or having them remain in the custody of their legal parents would be detrimental to the child.
- That there is reason to believe that the environment in which the child currently lives could endanger the child’s mental, moral, emotional, or physical health.
Additionally, one of the following conditions must also be present:
- One of the parents must be deceased.
- The legal parents are not married to each other when this petition is filed
- The dissolution of marriage is in a pending proceeding or a legal separation has been filed at the same time that this petition is filed.
Phoenix Family Law Attorney
Work with our Phoenix Family Law Attorney Cosmas Onyia when any visitation or grandparents’ rights issue is a concern. Mr. Onyia has devoted his legal career to helping families deal with issues that impact the entire family group, especially with divorce, separation and child custody/support matters.
Many grandparents today step in to fill a void in parental care because it is in the best interests of their grandchild. Grandparents are better established financially and able to meet basic needs of their grandchild that can parents, especially if one parent is missing or deceased. They love their grandchildren and want to participate in their lives; Arizona law agrees with this in providing grandparents’ rights for visitation, custody and adoption.
To learn more, contact the law office of Cosmas Onyia, P.C., Phoenix, AZ, for your first consultation. Call us now, at (602) 265-5200.