Many parents simply assume that they will be awarded custody of their child in a divorce. Parents fail to realize that a court can award other people custody of a child when a court determines that the biological parents are unfit, unsuitable, or unable to care for their child. This type of child custody is known as third-party custody.
Third-party child custody can be awarded in situations where the court determines that the best interest of a child is served by someone other than the parents having custody of the children. Third-party custody is not the same as grandparent visitation rights. The court can award third-party child custody to grandparents, other relatives, family friends or any person the court determines is suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child.
What Does A Court Consider in Awarding Third-Party Child Custody?
There may be a number of reasons why a court may determine that a child is served by awarding third-party custody to someone other than the biological parents. There are circumstances that happen in life where the parents are unwilling to be parents. The parents may be more interested in doing other things than caring for a child. Parents may be unable to care for a child because of their addictions, substance abuse, financial limitations, or simply immaturity. Other parents may suffer from a disability or incapacity.
A person seeking third-party custody must be a party to a divorce. A court cannot award a person third-party custody unless they are party. There are a number of considerations in determining whether or not to pursue third-party custody. We have the experience to assist you in evaluating pursuing a claim for third-party custody and then pursuing that action. There are also considerations for parents in a divorce when someone else is seeking third-party custody of their child.
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We pride ourselves on proving individual attention so that you can make an informed decision about your best course of action. Contact Scott Hamblin to schedule your confidential consultation.