Introducing parent dating relationships to children
Under a new bill passed in 2016, a biological or adoptive grandparent can sue for visitation if the parents’ relationship has been severed by death, divorce, or legal separation, or if a petition for divorce or legal separation has been filed.This new law states that the parents’ decision to deny or reduce visitation is presumed correct.When dealing with these types of cases, Arizona courts consider the following factors when determining the best interest of the child: a historical relationship between the grandparent and child, the motivation of the person who filed the suit, the motivation of the person denying visitation, the quantity of time requested and the effect that time will have on the child’s daily activities, and, in the case of death, the benefits of maintaining a relationship with the extended family.Adoption cuts off the visitation rights of the grandparents unless the adoption is granted to a stepparent.Adoption cuts off the visitation rights of grandparents unless the adoption decree provides for visitation between the child and the natural relatives.Arizona is one of the states that exempts intact families from grandparent visitation suits.A court may award visitation rights if the child's parents' marriage has been dissolved for at least three months, or the child is born out of wedlock.However, if a the parents of a child born out of wedlock marry, the family is then considered an intact family and is subsequently exempt from these types of suits.
Additionally, a grandparent must document a “significant and viable” relationship with the child.
If a child lived with a grandparent for six months or more, if a grandparent was the primary caregiver for six months or more or if the grandparent had frequent or regular contact with the child for 12 months or more, then a grandparent’s relationship with a child can be considered “significant and viable.
Furthermore, the grandparent must demonstrate “love, affection and guidance” for the child, that a lack of visitation would prove harmful to a child and a willingness to cooperate with the parent or guardian who has custody in order to show that visitation is in the best interest of the child.
The provisions of these statutes are included below.
However, if a state supreme court or the United States Supreme Court has determined that the visitation statute is unconstitutional, the provisions are not included below.