Grandparent and Non-parent Rights

The Berkshire Law Office, PLLC is one of the most preeminent firms in Arizona when it comes to the issue of third party rights.  The Berkshire Law Office has been involved in some of the most substantial third party rights appellate decisions in Arizona.  When you are looking for an expert in the area of third party rights, the Berkshire Law Office knows the law, as it helped create it.  These cases include:

Doty-Perez v. Doty-Perez (Doty-Perez II), 245 Ariz. 229 (App. 2018)
McLaughlin v. Jones, 243 Ariz. 29 (2017) – Supreme Court of Arizona
Chapman v. Hopkins, 243 Ariz. 236 (App. 2017)
Turner v. Steiner, 242 Ariz. 494 (App. 2017)
McLaughlin v. Jones, 240 Ariz. 560 (App. 2016)
Doty-Perez v. Doty-Perez (Doty-Perez I), 241 Ariz. 372 (App. 2016)
Sheets v. Mead, 238 Ariz. 55 (App. 2015)
Goodman v. Forsen, 239 Ariz. 110 (App. 2015)

In Arizona, the visitation and legal decision-making (custody) rights of grandparents and other non-parent third parties are defined in A.R.S. § 25-409.

Legal Decision Making:

Before a court will grant any Legal Decision Making rights to a non-parent it must be established that:

In addition to finding each of the above three elements, the court must find that one of the following applies as well:

In Arizona, it is difficult for a non-parent to acquire legal decision making rights to a child because the courts typically find that parents have a fundamental right to the care, custody and management of their child(ren).  Graville v. Dodge, 195 Ariz. 119 (App. 1999).  Grandparents, stepparents, relatives and non-relatives should be prepared to prove that awarding custody to the legal parent(s) is not in the child’s best interest and would be substantially detrimental to the child.  This is why it is crucial to have a competent attorney on your side whether you are attempting to gain some rights or prevent some rights.


In order to request visitation (as opposed to custody or primary placement) the non-parent must establish that the visitation is in the child’s best interest.   A.R.S. § 25-409.  Additionally, the court will take into account the following factors:

The Berkshire Law Office has successfully obtained everything from sole legal decision-making for grandparents and third parties, to more limited visitation. The factors required under these statutes are specific and we can assist you whether you are trying to obtain or prevent grandparent or third party rights.