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Lawmoe, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Family Law Lawyer for 19 years
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how likely is a judge in arizona to give 50/50 custody to a

Resolved Question:

how likely is a judge in arizona to give 50/50 custody to a grandparent when the maternial mother is deceased and the child has been living with father for the past year
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 7 years ago.

The law grants greater power to parents. That is particularly true since the United States Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of statutes in Washington state in Troxel v Granville where it stated that a parent has the right to make decisions about his or her children's care, custody, and control, which is perhaps the oldest of the "fundamental liberty interests" recognized by the Court, and violating that right deprives a parent of what is called substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


As a result, it is highly unlikely that a court would grant joint custody to grandparents when there is a capable parent still able to care for the child. That does not mean grandparents cannot assert an action seeking visitation.


A.R.S. § 25-409 allows grandparents to seek visitation if the parents have been divorced for at least three months, or the parents were never married, or one or both of the parents has died. When at least one of those prerequisites has been met, the Arizona statute says the court is to look to the best interest of the children in ruling on grandparental visitation.



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