Child visitation for aunts and uncles

Do I have any child visitation rights for my nieces and nephews?

The Question:

My sister is missing and the father of the children is in jail. He gave his parents temporary guardianship. The wife has made it clear we are not allowed to see them or contact them. We have been in the boys life since they were born. We don’t know what to do. We just want to see them. Do we have any rights can we get visitation somehow?

RJ Says:

Under Arizona law, a person other than a legal parent may petition the superior court for visitation with a child. We would have to show that visitation is in the child’s best interests and that any of the following is true:

  1. One of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing at least three months.
  1. The child was born out of wedlock and the child’s legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

In deciding whether to grant visitation to a third party, the court shall give special weight to the legal parents’ opinion of what serves their child’s best interests and consider all relevant factors including:

  1. The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.
  2. The motivation of the requesting party seeking visitation.
  3. The motivation of the person objecting to visitation.
  4. The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child’s customary activities.
  5. If one or both of the child’s parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.

Perhaps we could start with a demand letter, educating them as to your rights.

Do you have a question? Send it to RJ, and we’ll get you the answer you need.