|DECISION:||VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED|
|DIVISION:||SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA|
|ORIGINAL CASE:||FRIEDMAN v. ROELS (D20103718)|
|JUDICIAL OFFICER:||Alyce L. Pennington, Judge Pro Tempore|
|VENUE:||Superior Court in Pima County|
Under Arizona’s third-party-visitation statute, the superior court may grant visitation rights to a person other than a child’s legal parent upon a finding that “visitation is in the child’s best interests.” A.R.S. § 25-409(C). In making that discretionary determination, the court “shall give special weight to the legal parents’ opinion of what serves their child’s best interests.” § 25-409(E). We hold that when two legal parents disagree about whether visitation is in their child’s best interests, both parents’ opinions are entitled to special weight under § 25-409(E). We further hold that under those circumstances, neither parent is entitled to a presumption in his or her favor and the parents’ conflicting opinions must give way to the court’s finding on whether visitation is in the child’s best interests.