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Legal Information: Arizona

Custody

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Updated: 
September 19, 2018

Can a grandparent (or other non-parent third party) get visitation?

In certain situations, a person other than a legal parent may petition the superior court for visitation with a child. The judge may grant visitation if the judge believes that visitation is in the best interests of the child and any one of the following are true:

  1. One of the legal parents is dead or has been missing for at least three months (and reported as missing to a law enforcement agency);
  2. 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;
  3. For grandparent or great-grandparent visitation, the marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved for at least three months; or
  4. 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.1

In deciding whether to grant visitation to a third party, the court shall give special weight to the legal parents' opinion of what serves their child's best interests and consider all relevant factors including:

  • The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation;
  • The motivation of the person seeking visitation;
  • The motivation of the person denying visitation;
  • The amount of visitation time requested and the possible negative impact that visitation will have on the child's usual activities; and
  • The benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship (if one or both of the child's parents are dead).2

1 A.R.S. § 25-409(C)
2 A.R.S. § 25-409(E)