Phoenix Visitation Attorney

Laws regarding visitation rights vary greatly from state to state, and in Arizona, they can be particularly complex. Arizona has extra provisions that give ceratin family members extra rights when it comes to visitation, but earning these rights requires the skill of an experienced Phoenix visitation lawyer.

Visitation for the Non-custodial Parent

In general, the courts prefer to grant joint custody for parents in divorce proceedings. However, there are some instances where one person will retain sole custody. Even if you are the non-custodial parent, you are entitled to visitation rights under the law, whether they are supervised or unsupervised.

When determining the extent of your visitation rights, the family law courts will consider:

  • If you are fit to spend time with the child
  • If you want to continue your relationship with the child
  • If you can follow a visitation plan
  • If visitation with you is in the best interest of the child
  • If the child will benefit from a relationship with you
  • If the child can engage in open communication with you

The law acknowledges that children typically benefit from a relationship with both parents, so courts try to make visitation work, excluding circumstances such as an imminent threat to the safety of the child. However, in the state of Arizona, it is lawful for the custodial parent to withhold visitation rights if child support payments are not paid on time. Barring visitation, by contrast, is not a lawful reason for you to stop child support payments.

Whether you’re the parent with legal guardianship or not, the Phoenix visitation attorneys at our firm can help strengthen your arguments before the judge and defend your visitation rights as a parent. Contact us to schedule a consultation with our child custody and visitation attorneys.


Unlike other states, Arizona has extra measures in place that allow grandparents to have visitation rights despite the objections of one or both guardians. However, to successfully achieve this, grandparents need to provide clear evidence that their visitation rights are in the best interest of the child. Additionally, to overrule the objections of a parent, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • The grandparent seeking visitation is the parent of the child’s non-custodial parent, and the divorce has been finalized for at least three months.
  • The grandparent is a parent of a non-custodial parent who has been deceased or missing for at least three months.
  • The parents of the child were never married.

In determining the extent of the grandparents’ interest in the child, the courts will consider many factors, including:

  • The history of the relationship
  • The motivation of the grandparent(s)
  • The motivation in the parents denying visitation
  • The impact of visitation on the child’s life and daily activities


Using the same criteria, aunts/uncles, siblings, stepparents and other third parties are eligible to petition the courts for visitation rights. However, in many cases, extended family are free to visit while the child is in a parent’s custody. Specific visitation rights are reserved specifically for when one or both parents are barring access to a child.

Hiring a Phoenix Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer

Procuring visitation rights as a grandparent or third party can be a challenge, especially with the complexities of Arizona law. To secure your rights to see the loved child in your life, you will need a competent and compassionate legal team on your side to help you gather evidence and speak to the courts.

Our Phoenix child custody lawyers have been practicing in in Maricopa County since 1985. We are deeply experienced across a wide spectrum of practices, including family law, estate planning, business law, employment law, and catastrophic injury cases. We take pride in providing our clients with exceptional service and undeniable value.

Our commitment to our clients has been recognized on several occasions, including superb AVVO ratings and two Martindale-Hubbell client recognition awards. At Gillespie, Shields & Taylor, we represent our clients effectively with tact and vigilance. We respect our clients deeply, and we hope that you will contact us for any of your legal needs.

“I would like to thank Jeff McCombs for getting me through a very nasty custody case. As a single man in the state of AZ trying to gain custody of children is hard enough. This man had a plan, great strategy, he spoke directly to the courts and he was very prepared. In short the man did his job perfectly.” – Bradley H.

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