Grandparent and Third-Party Custody and Visitation
In traditional custody and parenting time arrangements, it is normally the biological or legal parent of the child who is granted custody rights (for example the child’s mother or father). In some cases, a person other than the child’s biological or legal mother or father may be granted custody rights. These are known as “third-party” custody cases. There are certain situations in which custody or guardianship of a child is granted to grandparents, close relatives or other persons. Addiction and mental health issues can be a factor in these cases.
Some examples of when a third party could be awarded custody or guardianship of a child include:
- When both parents are living but neither parent is fit to care for the child;
- When the primary custodial parent has died, and custody with the remaining parent would cause physical or long-term emotional harm to the child, and custody with a third party is in the child’s best interests;
When the child has been living with a third-party individual for a long period of time and a parent consents to guardianship with the third party.
Child custody cases can be complex, and we work with many leading child psychologists and other professionals who often play a role in these important cases.