Can Grandparents Get Custody of their Grandkids

A child custody attorney should be consulted in situations where grandparents are seeking custody of their grandchildren.  In most situations, one or both parents will have custody of their own children. Grandparents may seek visitation rights under certain circumstances.  However, if parents prove unfit and are unable to provide appropriate care for their children, it is common for grandparents to be given temporary or even permanent custody of their grandkids. 

A Scottsdale child custody attorney at Singer Pistiner, P.C. can provide legal help to grandparents who need help securing visitation or who feel that parents are not fit to provide care for grandchildren.  We understand the complex rules related to child custody laws in Arizona and we can assist you in fighting for your ability to protect your grandchildren and to see the children who are important to you.

When Can Grandparents Get Custody of their Grandkids?

Arizona Code Section 25-409 provides details on when grandparents can petition for visitation of their grandchildren.   Grandparents can petition for visitation if:

  • One of the legal parents is deceased or one of the legal parents has been missing for a period of three months or longer. The parent is considered to be missing if he or she has been reported missing to law enforcement and the parent’s location has not been determined.
  • The child was born to unmarried parents and the parents haven’t married yet at the time when the grandparent petitions for custody.
  • The parents have been divorced for at least a three month period of time.

When determining if a grandparent should be awarded visitation or not, the court considers whether giving visitation to the grandparent would be in the best interests of the child. It is up to grandparents to show why it would be best for their grandchildren to be able to see them and maintain a continuing relationship. A child custody lawyer can provide invaluable assistance to grandparents in proving that they should be given visitation time with kids.

The issue of grandparent custody is more complicated, because the court will give temporary or permanent custody to grandparents only if the child’s parents are not able to provide appropriate care within their home.

If both of the child’s parents agrees that a grandparent should be given custody, the process is a relatively simple one and the parents and grandparent can simply file a joint petition with the court with the help of a child custody attorney. The court will review the petition and the grandparent should be named the guardian of the child.

If the parents do not wish to give up custody, however, then the court will not take custody away from the parents unless and until a determination has been made that the child should be removed from the parent’s home. This can occur when Department of Child Safety (DSC) believes that a child has been abandoned, abused, or neglected or it can occur in court proceedings to determine the fitness of a parent after allegations of abuse or neglect have been made.

If a child is taken out of the parent’s home by Department of Child Safety (DCS), a program called kinship foster care can allow for a grandparent to get custody of the grandchild. DCS may contact grandparents or other relatives after a child has been removed from a parent’s home and after DCS has had the child declared a “dependent ward.”  DCS will visit your home, you will need to undergo a background check, and you will need to provide information to DCS and complete required forms to become an unlicensed kinship foster caregiver.

Any process by which a child is removed from a parent’s home and grandparents are given temporary or permanent custody can be a difficult process for the children and for the adults involved.  However, if you are concerned about your grandchildren getting proper care, it is important to speak with a child custody attorney about what your options are for convincing the court that your grandchildren should be placed in your home.

How Can a Scottsdale Child Custody Attorney Help?

A Scottsdale child custody lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in all disputes over custody, including in situations where there are questions about whether parents are fit to provide custody to their children.  Singer Pistiner, P.C. has helped many grandparents both in obtaining visitation rights and in getting custody of grandchildren when parents are not able to provide appropriate care.

If you are being deprived of access to your grandkids or if you are concerned about the quality of parenting that is going on in your grandchild’s home, give us a call today at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online so we can get started on your custody case.


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