Green Valley, AZ asked in Family Law for Arizona

Q: Grandparenting rights/3rd party.

My daughter & 3yo granddaughter have lived with us for 10 mos in AZ & previously in CO for 16 mos. She left AZ abruptly 6/20/19 & is in Monroe LA. Granddaughter was thriving here & I am deeply heartbroken & concerned for the child's safety. Daughter has an open case w/ bio dad which is set for final orders 8/19/19 in EPC. Daughter is refusing to allow us to talk to grandchild. Need to get advice if CO will retain jurisdiction (no active parenting plan) & if we should petition to be added to current case or start new one in AZ. Have already met w/an attorney in AZ & was advised to talk to CO attorney as well.

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1 Lawyer Answer

Mike Branum

Answered
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Your granddaughter lived in Arizona for more than six months after leaving Colorado; Colorado will likely refuse to exercise jurisdiction. I cannot imagine the heartache you must feel having your granddaughter taken from your life in that way. I wish there was more that could be done for you but, unless you have evidence your daughter is abusing your granddaughter, you have very little chance of getting any assistance from the state. Courts will not interfere with parental rights absent a showing of an imminent, serious threat of harm to the child. Although you may have quite valid reasons to be concerned, your concern will not spur the Court to interfere with your daughter's parental rights.

The biological father could have a case for child abduction if your daughter took his child across state lines during a family court case without the father's consent.

As painful as I am sure it must be to be denied access to your grandchild, grandparents have few "rights" unless a child's parents prove themselves almost completely unfit.

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