The Ultimate Checklist for Visitation Rights in Arizona

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Making arrangements for visitation rights can be tricky, especially when there are so many things to consider. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive checklist to help make the process as smooth as possible.

Why Is It Important To Have A Visitation Rights Checklist?

In Arizona, there is no formal legal assistance for those who are involved in family law proceedings. In cases where a parent wishes to obtain visitation rights, they will be expected to represent themselves without an attorney at any and all court hearings and should be prepared to present evidence and argumentation on their behalf.

This includes the preparation of a visitation schedule as well as evidentiary support establishing that certain factors exist which would ideally call for such a schedule or for the right to visitation by the non-custodial parent. It’s not always easy, but it can definitely be done.

The first step is understanding what criteria must be before one can seek custody rights over a child. In order to gain visitation rights in Arizona, a parent will need to be able to show the court that there is a “significant and meaningful relationship” between them and their children.

Once this has been established, then they must show that the lack of visitation (or interference with visitation) would cause harm or damage to the children involved. This normally means showing that:

  • there is a good likelihood of physical or psychological harm to the child if visitation were restricted
  • the potential for serious damage would occur
  • that injury will occur because of such interference
  • that such interference outweighs any possible detriments caused by limiting or restricting access.

In addition, it helps when somebody can show that prior attempts at visitation have been restricted or interfered with in the past. This is relevant because it might show a pattern of behavior that limits visitation rights. It will be up to the court to determine whether this harms the best interests of the child, with an emphasis on whether or not there has been any psychological damage done to the children by such actions.

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Try To Work With Your Spouse Through A Parenting Plan 

A parenting plan is a written document that describes the custody and visitation relationship between each parent. A parenting plan should include at least these vital points:

  • Parenting Time
  • Number of overnights with each parent
  • Primary residence for school enrollment  and medical care

How disputes will be resolved through mediation or other dispute resolution methods. The use of arbitration, mediation, or other dispute resolution methods to resolve custodial issues is encouraged by Arizona law. If you cannot agree, either person can file a motion before the court asking for an order requiring mediation. This request must come before any significant change in circumstances or custody orders have been entered. You may also ask the court to order your case placed on a court-ordered mediation calendar.

Establish Paternity If You’re An Unmarried Father

There are many reasons why it is important to establish paternity. First, because an unmarried father has no legal right to visitation or custody of his child without a court order, establishing paternity can be the first step in obtaining these rights. Once paternity is established, there may be medical benefits available under various state laws that pay for prenatal care and delivery costs for the mother and/or baby.

There are also federal laws providing financial incentives for states which provide services to help locate fathers so that they can be held responsible for their children’s needs. An unmarried father who has established paternity may be able to obtain a court order for visitation or custody of the child. This is especially important if the mother interferes with visitation or is not allowing the father to visit his child at all.

In addition, there are many reasons in your personal life that having paternity established in your child can benefit you. Many young men find that they want a relationship with their children even when their romantic relationships don’t work out and having paternity established enables them to seek custody rights from a judge.

Children also benefit by knowing who both of their parents are and having relationships with each one. In short, establishing paternity benefits everyone involved with your child and it ensures that you have a legal right to play an active role in your child’s life if that is what you choose.

Seek The Help Of A Family Lawyer

You need a family lawyer because you want to ensure that your visitation rights are protected and enforced. But can you do this yourself? The answer is no.

The law gives parents specific visitation rights, but it does not define what those rights should be or how they should be exercised. Instead, the law assumes that parents will work together to come up with an arrangement that works for them and their children.

When parents reach such agreements without legal assistance, they often create living situations that are less than ideal for the children involved and therefore complicated and difficult to enforce. Parents who want a more organized visitation schedule may hire an experienced family lawyer to create a plan that will be beneficial to everyone involved.

Familiarize Yourself With Arizona Family Law If You’re A Grandparent Seeking Visitation Rights

There are several factors to consider, should you wish to petition for visitation rights. The first thing you want to do is research the laws in your state. You also need to have a very close relationship with your grandchild, and would not be asking for visitation if you did not truly believe it was in the best interest of the child. It might be a good idea to sit down and write out your reasons why you feel that visiting rights would be beneficial for all involved.

When beginning the process, it’s important that you become familiarized with Arizona visitation law. Oftentimes attorneys will offer free initial consultations where they’ll answer any questions you may have about filing an Arizona petition/application/request for visitation rights.

Another good idea is to speak with other people who have already gone through this process. You can contact someone at the courthouse; they may be able to put you in touch with a family member, friend, or relative of someone else who has petitioned for visitation. The more information you get together beforehand, the better off everyone involved will be.

Grandparents might also want to share custody rights with the child’s parents instead of just visitation rights. This can happen if both parents are deceased, incarcerated or for some other valid reason that warrants an exception to the court’s ruling. It should be noted though that while grandparents do have legal standing in asking for visitation, both unmarried and married couples must prove their ability to provide a safe environment before any ruling is made.

How Are Visitation Rights Cases Heard?

Arizona visitation rights cases are usually heard in Family Court, which is separate from the criminal court. After filing your petition, you will appear before the judge along with the parents of the child and any other relevant parties. The judge will review all submitted information and make a ruling based on what they determine to be in the best interest of the child.

What If You’re Denied Visitation Rights?

If you’re denied visitation rights, you can always appeal this decision before another judge in Family Court. It’s possible they may reach a different conclusion than the first judge did, however, it may also happen that not enough new evidence has been presented for them to see things differently. If this happens, then there are only two options remaining: take it to a higher court or hire an attorney who can take it to another court, like one that’s part of the appeals process.

If you’re looking for more information on visitation rights in Arizona, be sure to check out our website or give our office a call. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you take the next step towards securing visitation rights for yourself or your loved ones. Thanks for reading!

Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney You Can Trust?

The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!


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