Understanding Third-Party Custody: 4 Things to Keep In Mind
If you’re seeking custody of a child that isn’t yours, you need to know how to approach it.
Whether the child’s parents are deceased or unfit for custody, third-party custody is a way to take them out of a compromising position. When it comes to custody rights, however, it’s rare for a third party ever to be granted custody over a biological parent.
Only in the most extreme cases does this happen. If you believe you’re the best person to look after a child, you must fight for them. In this post, we’ll help you by telling you more about third-party custody, how it works, and other things you need to keep in mind.
With a good custody attorney and an understanding of the process, you can ensure the child gets the care they need. Keep reading and learn how to make it all happen.
1. Third-Party Custody Rights
Someone that gains third-party custody rights over a child becomes their guardian. With this, they’ll have input on things like medical treatment, education, where the child resides, and spiritual leanings.
These rights are rarely given to a third party. There needs to be unequivocal proof that the child’s parents are unequipped to care for the child.
2. Child’s Best Interest Standard
The Child’s Best Interest Standard is a list of factors that the family lawyer or court will use to decide custody. Some of them include:
- The child’s age
- Who the child prefers to live with
- The needs of the child (emotional, developmental, etc.)
- Evidence of neglect, emotional or physical abuse, or substance abuse
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The financial stability of the individual parents
In examining both parents and the third party for these (and other) factors, a final decision is made about who the child should live with.
There’s something called the Parental Preference Rule, which states that a parent that is able and willing to care for their child should have custody. This highlights how difficult it is for a third party to gain custody over a biological parent.
3. Which Third Parties Have Custody Rights?
Most commonly, third-party custody is held by a child’s grandparents. The case is stronger if the child has spent time living with the grandparents, and the grandparent can prove that the child relies on them for economic, psychological, or other support.
Other third-party candidates might include older siblings, stepparents, and other close relatives.
4. How Custody Lawyers Can Help
If you’re a third party looking to gain custody of a child, the best thing to do is find a family lawyer to help. As we’ve mentioned, these cases can be challenging, and each state has its own laws regarding third-party custody rights.
Having the expertise of a custody attorney greatly increases your chance of successfully getting custody. At Crosson Richetti & Daigle LLC, we specialize in helping the right party earn custody, whether a parent, grandparent, or another third party.
It’s All About the Child
When it comes to third-party custody, the child’s best interest has to be at the core of it all. It will be an uphill battle, but with the right custody attorney by your side, your chances of taking custody of the child you’ve cared for become more realistic.
If you’ve any questions about your custody situation, contact us today at Crosson Richetti & Daigle LLC for a consultation.