Child Visitation with a Non-Biological Third Party in Arizona

child visitation lawsSometimes people come in and out of our lives all of the time. For children, separating from them may be harder than our adult selves. This rule is especially true in matters where the child has spent a lot of time with the third party in the past, making them feel as much like family as anyone else they are blood-related to.

Section E of A.R.S.§ 25-409 was created to help those who petition for rights from the court for visitation of a child. In most of these cases, the third party will obtain legal counsel from an experienced Arizona family law attorney.

The Law on Non-Biological Third Party Visitation

In section E of A.R.S.§ 25-409, the law states that the court will give special consideration to a third party that is petitioning visitation of a child based on the following:

  • Any significant and historical relationship that exists between the child and the third party
  • Why the third party is seeking visitation with the child
  • Why the party objecting visitation is doing so
  • The amount of visitation time requested and the impact it could have on the child
  • If one or both parents of the child are deceased, the benefit of keeping the relationship intact with the third party

Enforcement of Visitation Orders

Once a court grants third party visitation orders for a child, the legal parent or guardian must adhere to those orders. If the parent or guardian refuses to follow the orders, they can be found noncompliant. The court can use the following measures to remedy the parent or guardian’s violation:

  • Find the violating party in contempt of court
  • Issue new visitation to make-up time for the missed sessions
  • Order the violating party to pay for, take, or re-take the parenting education class
  • Order family counseling to be paid for by the violator
  • Issue civil penalties against the violating party
  • Order mediation to be paid for by the violator
  • Issue another type of order that may promote the best interest for the child in question

Any court costs or attorney fees that are incurred by the non-violating party as a result of noncompliance with the visitation orders are to be paid by the violating party.

Non-Biological Third Party Adoption

In most cases, Arizona adoptions require that a biological party give up their rights to a child for a third party to adopt them. Cases like this include when a stepparent wants to adopt the child of their spouse.

It is required that this third party have the means to support this child if they are going to adopt them. If the court finds it in the best interest of this third party to adopt the child, the process will proceed.

Arizona Family Law Attorneys

Family law attornies want what is in the best interest of a child, much like the courts do. When trying to file a petition for visitation by a third party, it is an integral part of the process to hire legal counsel. Arizona family law attornies are skilled in handling matters involving not only visitation by third parties but adoption cases as well. If you find yourself in a situation involving visitation, hire an Arizona family law attorney to handle your case.

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