Scottsdale Attorney for Fathers’, Mothers’ & Grandparents’ Rights
The matter of your rights as a father, mother, or grandparent may arise in certain family situations. These situations can occur related to children of divorced, separated, or unmarried parents. It is important that you understand these rights as established by Arizona law.
If you are facing a situation in which you have been denied visitation or you believe the parent(s) are unfit, it is in your best interests to consult with our attorney at kdlaw P.C. Fathers’, mothers’, and grandparents’ rights can be complicated issues that require the knowledge and skills of a family law firm with proficiency in these cases. Our founding attorney is a Certified Family Law Specialist with the legal expertise needed to help you navigate the family law court system.
Fathers’ Rights in Arizona
Family law courts operate on the policy that a child’s best interests are best served by having a continuing, frequent, and meaningful relationship with both parents. This means that mothers do not have superior rights over fathers in custody or visitation matters. Unfortunately, a father may be denied this right by a controlling mother in situations where a court-ordered parenting plan has been decreed as well as when no court orders exist. When a mother violates such a court order, the matter can be brought to the court’s attention and remedied through legal action. If the current plan is unfair or disfavors the father, he can seek a modification through the court. When no such plan exists between unmarried parents, it is in a father’s best interests to pursue his parental rights through a paternity action in which his right to a relationship with his child can be legally established.
Mothers have equal rights with fathers for both legal and physical custody of their children. When a mother gives birth, the right becomes automatic. In Arizona, as in all other states, both parents are obligated to financially support their children. In the case of unmarried mothers who do not live with their child’s father, this support cannot be ordered or enforced without first establishing the parenthood of the father. Thus, an unmarried mother may pursue a paternity action against the father. Once this is accomplished, the father is then legally responsible for providing child support according to Arizona child support guidelines. The establishment of paternity also provides the mother with a legal path for the enforcement of this support from a delinquent father.
In Arizona, grandparents’ rights fall under “third party rights” in A.R.S. §25-409. This allows an individual other than the legal parent to “petition the superior court for legal decision-making authority or placement of the child.” This right is often pursued by grandparents who have had an ongoing relationship with a grandchild and have been denied visitation or who believe the parent(s) of their grandchild are unfit.
Under this law, grandparents must prove certain facts to the court, depending on the circumstances. In the case of unfit parents, courts favor keeping children with their biological parents except in cases where it is proven that doing so is detrimental for the child. Parental substance abuse and child abuse are examples of such detriment.
In cases where a grandparent has been denied visitation where a favorable relationship with the child has been established, it may be possible to obtain this right by filing a petition with the court. As a grandparent, you will have various legal burdens that must be met in order to prevail. The court will look at many factors when deciding this issue, such as the length and nature of the relationship, the amount of visitation time sought, and the potential benefits to the child.
Turn to a Reliable & Experienced Family Law Team
The matter of grandparent and parental rights can be complicated and difficult to navigate through the courts. At kdlaw P.C., we have years of experience in fiercely advocating for individuals seeking these rights. Our skilled trial lawyer can evaluate your situation, advise you on where you stand, what to expect, and how to move forward. We practice family law exclusively and are well-versed and well-equipped to provide you with proficient and dedicated service.
Contact us today at (480) 999-0553 to learn more and get started.
We Always Strive to Provide the Best Service
We Pride Ourselves on Attention to Detail
Our Skill & Representation Is Unparalleled
We Operate at a Top Level of Professionalism
We’re a Highly Experienced Team That Will Stand With You