Under Arizona law, grandparents and other non-parents may petition a court for legal decision-making authority or visitation rights with a child.

In order to gain legal decision-making authority for a child, a grandparent or other party must overcome the presumption that it is in the best interest of a child to award legal decision-making to the parent and prove the following:

  1. The person filing the petition stands in loco parentis to the child.
  2. It would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the care of either legal parent who wishes to keep or acquire legal decision-making.
  3. A court of competent jurisdiction has not entered or approved an order concerning legal decision-making or parenting time within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this section, unless there is reason to believe the child’s present environment may seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.
  4. One of the following applies:
  • One of the legal parents is deceased.
  • The child’s legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.
  • A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

A.R.S. § 25-409

In order to gain visitation rights with a child, a grandparent or other party must establish one of the following:

  1. One of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing at least three months. For the purposes of this paragraph, a parent is considered to be missing if the parent’s location has not been determined and the parent has been 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.
  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.

A.R.S. § 25-409

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