How to File for Grandparent Visitation in AZ: 4 Steps

While custody cases typically focus on how parenting time will be split between a child’s parents (among other things), these cases do not usually set up visitation rights or plans for other family members – like a child’s grandparents.

When grandparents (or others) want to pursue visitation and have court orders in place regarding their rights to spend time with a child, they will have to petition the court for such a request, and the following provides a simplified explanation of how to do so.

Filing for Grandparent Visitation: Here’s What you Need to doStep 1 – Complete & File the Appropriate Court Forms.
Grandparent Visitation Photo
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Specifically, in Arizona, the form that needs to be completed and submitted to the court will be a Petition to Establish Grandparent Visitation . Here, it’s important to point out that this form will only be applicable to your situation if:

  • You are the natural or adoptive grandparent of the child.
  • You are a great grandparent of a child.
  • You want to get a court order regarding visitation with the child.
  • The child has lived in Arizona for a minimum of six (6) months prior to filing the petition.
  • The parents of the child have been divorced for a minimum of three (3) months; one parent has been dead or missing for a minimum of three (3) months; OR the child was born to unmarried parents.
Step 2 – Serve the Court Papers to the Interested Parties.

Once the appropriate form has been filed with the court (and the court fees have been paid), the next step in this process will be to have the other interested parties served with the court papers. In general, the “interested parties” will be one or both of the child’s parents. For more details on how to serve court papers to someone in Arizona, click here.

Once you have fulfilled this step, the proverbial ball will be out of your hands (in other words, you have done what you need to do to initiate the case, and you will likely have to wait for the other parties to take action).

Step 3 – Wait for a Response and Possibly a Trial Date.

After the other interested parties in the case have been served with the court papers, they usually have two options:

  1. File a response to the papers – Responses will usually be filed when another party disagrees with part or all of the visitation request. Should a response be filed, the filing party is required to ensure that you are served with a copy of the response after it has been submitted to the court.
  2. Do nothing – If no response is filed, the court can be inclined to grant the visitation as requested.

If a response is filed (i.e., there is a disagreement to the requested visitation), a trial date will have to be set to put the matter before a judge to resolve.

Step 4 – The Final Order Will be Issued.

Finally, the matter will be put before the court for a final ruling. If the ruling grants visitation to the grandparents (or other petitioner), it should stipulate when the visitation can occur, how long the visitation will last and possibly even whether other communications (like phone calls) are permissible.

Scottsdale Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Do you need help with a visitation or custody case – or with any family law issues? If so, you can rely on Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

Contact us Today

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna