Third-Party Visitation: The Claims Process

When adults who are not the parents of children want to assert their third-party visitation rights, they will typically have to follow a specific procedure to:

  • File third-party visitation claims with the court
  • Have the court review their requests
  • Ultimately be granted the visitation they are seeking.

Because, however, the third-party visitation claims process can be complicated and confusing – and because making mistakes in the process can impact these claims, it’s critical that people seeking third-party visitation work with an experienced attorney – like Scottsdale Custody Lawyer Karen Schoenau – for help:

  • Navigating the complexities of the family court system
  • Establishing their rights to visitation with a child
  • Obtaining the best possible outcomes to their case.
The Third-Party Visitation Claims Process: An Overview

To start the third-party visitation claims process in Arizona, an adult (i.e., the Petitioner) will have to file a legal action known as an in loco parentis. In filing these actions, it will be important that Petitioners:

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Here’s a simplified overview of the third-party visitation claims process. Contact Scottsdale Attorney Karen Schoenau for help successfully navigating the third-party visitation claims process.
  • File the in loco parentis in the county in which the child is currently residing
  • Include all necessary supporting documentation with their Petitions
  • Detail the facts supporting the Petitioners’ requests for third-party visitation
  • Comply with any and all court requests regarding the submission of additional documentation and/or evidence to support their requests.

The third-party visitation claims process will typically end in favorable rulings for Petitioners as long as all of the following can be established or proven to the family court:

  1. The Petitioners stand in loco parentis to the children. In particular, this means that Petitioners “stand in the shoes” of a biological parent.
  2. Placing or keeping the child in the custody of either living legal parent would be detrimental to the child.
  3. No custody orders regarding the child have been issued by the court in the previous year (unless the current environment in which the child is living is endangering his health and wellbeing).
  4. At least one of the following also applies:
    1. One parent has passed away or is no longer in the child’s life.
    2. The parents are not married when the in loco parentis is filed.
    3. A divorce is pending when the petition is filed.
Scottsdale Custody and Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Do you need help initiating a third-party visitation claim? If so, you can trust Scottsdale Custody and Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau for experienced help, honest answers and effective representation. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people favorably resolve their sensitive family law matters, including complex cases related to custody and visitation issues.

Dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services at reasonable rates, Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau will always work diligently and relentlessly to help her clients bring their cases to successful resolutions.

Contact us Today

To receive professional advice regarding how to proceed with the third-party visitation claims process, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau today. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the contact form.

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

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