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#725166 - 07/18/11 12:12 AM Grandparents Rights: Arizona
wilken85 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1

I am a father of a 2 1/2 year old daughter. When my daughter was 6 months old my ex committed suicide. My ex and I were never married. Her grandfather on that side continued to have fleeting visits for awhile after. He would pick her up from school on occassion roughly once a month. Sometimes he would see her once a week then not at all for 6 weeks. Never an overnight.
Anyway about 8 months ago when my daughter was just 2 my daughter started having psychological problems (her mother was also bipolar) which included heightened anxiety and not sleeping and my fiance and I were really concerned. We took her to several pediatricians and were eventually told to see a developmental pediatrician and a child psychologist. Although she is too young to diagnose, both her developmental pediatrician and child psychologist have in writing acknowledged that she is a candidate for either a mood disorder or defiance disorder (even bipolar disorder, although i pray not). We asked that my ex's father have visits where he did not leave and we were all present. He said that he did not see anything wrong with her even though he only spends 20mins to 2 hrs with her. We are currently debating putting her on meds although we feel very very hesitant. Even though we feel she needs them.
Not wanting to deal with him who is not supportive and a child who can have 4+ hour temper tantrums we decided that because his contact was so brief that it would be best just to not have him be around. He was also suing the city police for not doing enough to prevent his daughters death and i disagreed and kept trying to drag me into his case. He has serious issue and seems to want to discuss without my presence the death a circumstances of his daughters death which I feel is inappropriate.
On friday i got a letter from his attorney saying that he wants to be apart of her life and that we wants to be apart of her therapy so he can help. (our therapist has said it would be better if he just left) His attorney wants me and him to go to mediation that he will pay for.

First: Does he have a case for visitation? I know the law in my state allows for visitation suite but does he have a case?

Second: His lawyer said I have 10 days to contact him regarding mediation? Do I go? Or just wait for a summons?

-I understand the value and importance of grandparents in a child's life. Especially when they have at a time acted as parents in some capacity. But if they never have I totally disagree with grandparents rights. They take away the right of a parent to decide what is best for there child.

Any guidance appreciated

#725167 - 07/19/11 06:05 PM Re: Grandparents Rights: Arizona [Re: wilken85]
Step23Boys Offline

recently joined

Registered: 06/23/11
Posts: 22
Wow, I am so very sorry for all that you are going through with your daughter. I simply cannot fathom the turmoil, the worry, the stress you must be under every day. I really do hope you and finace find peace in your decisions and are able to make a healthy, happy, secure home for your daughter.

I am not a grandmother by blood - I am a grandmother by marriage. But I could not imagine loving those 2 little munchkins any more than I do, and I would give my life to protect them. Even though they do not live with us, their well-being is always in my mind and my husband and I would do anything - ANYTHING - to make certain those children have all they need.

That being said, I cannot give you any legal advice. However, as to your daughter's grandfather, I simply cannot imagine the pain, the agony a parent must go through when their child dies - no matter the manner of death. I would expect a parent who loses a child (minor or adult) would become a little crazed. I don't know your daughter's grandfather, but I would expect him to have "issues," after his daughter had committed suicide. My first question would be: is he in therapy?

I would also expect he might be in some denial over his granddaughter. After all, if his daughter's mental illness played a factor in her demise, he certainly isn't going to want to see the same potential in his granddaughter, would he? And I would take issue with a therapist who would rather a grandparent just leave as opposed to suggesting the grandparent also join therapy to overcome his issues and regain rights to visitation.

Now, if you simply do not want your daughter's grandfather involved in her because you don't like the man, or he reminds you or your fiance of the child's mother, or some other type of reason, well, that's your decision. The courts, from what I've been able to determine, are not very favorable to grandparents. However, if you truly think grandparents can add value to a child's life, there are ways to work this through. Granted, you can make demands, such as therapy/counciling, must be in your presence, length of visit, etc. It can take a long time for a parent to get to a point where they can move on from the death of a child - has this man reached that point?

#725168 - 07/24/11 04:29 PM Re: Grandparents Rights: Arizona [Re: Step23Boys]
annatof4 Offline


Registered: 07/13/11
Posts: 125
IMO, it will not "hurt" you to go to the mediation. It may show that you are willing to work with the father of your ex and explain what the therapist has said. By showing that you are not ignoring him or his requests. It does not mean that your daughter needs to attend.

If the grandparent pushes the issue and files a motion for grandparent's visitation rights....I would request a psych evaluation. If you have your daughter's therapist saying that it would be best if he left, his presence may be detrimental. That could also be used in court.

#725169 - 10/12/11 03:12 AM Re: Grandparents Rights: Arizona [Re: annatof4]
Renny Offline


Registered: 09/24/11
Posts: 479
Agree that the mediation can't hurt. I would put the gps off for a few years with periodic visitations, but nothing formal. If the gps are intent on fighting, you will know soon enough at the mediation or soon thereafter. At thatpoint have a GAL appointed and request psych evals of the kid and gps. No, they don't have an automatic right to visitation and you could argue it's not in the children's best interests. I would go to the mediation. Listen carefully. It's free discovery. Don't give the farm away. Youbcan end the mediation at any time. It's voluntary. Just get up and leave.


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