At Twyford Law Office in Spokane, we assist third parties, including step-parents and grandparents, who wish to pursue custody of a child. There are a variety of reasons why you might be seeking to establish this right, but there will be certain obstacles to overcome. If you have decided to seek third party custody of a child, call our Spokane family law attorneys at (509) 327-0777. We can discuss your legal options in a free consultation.
Why Choose Us?
We can be trusted to handle any type of family law matter and to provide skilled legal representation backed by more than 40 years of combined experience.
We understand how important the issue of third party custody is and will provide compassionate guidance that is tailored to your unique goals.
Decisions regarding your case will be made collaboratively after informing you of your rights and potential legal remedies.
Do I Need a Custody Lawyer?
Demonstrating to the court that third party custody rights would be in a child’s best interests based on their physical, social, and emotional needs, can be difficult to do without the assistance of an attorney. The situations in which third party custody is granted are limited, and typically carry a high burden of proof that both biological parents are unfit to care for the child.
Even if a parent signs the consent to award custody to a third party, that is only one step of the process to obtain court ordered custody. The Judge may consider the parent’s wishes, but is not required to agree with them.
Custody disputes tend to be legally and emotionally complex. A custody lawyer with experience who provides compassionate legal advocacy can help you navigate the process; and may be the ally you need to successfully obtain the rights to care for the child.
When Would the Courts Grant Custody to a Third Party?
Third party custody, also called non-parental custody, can be granted under the following extreme circumstances:
The legal parent is unwilling or unable to adequately care for the child (deceased, abusive, negligent, addiction, unfit);
The petitioner or intervenor is or recently has been the child’s primary caretaker;
Existing circumstances would be detrimental to the child if relief is denied;
The legal parent has fostered, encouraged or consented to the relationship between the child and the petitioner or intervenor; or
The legal parent has unreasonably denied or limited contact between the child and the petitioner or intervenor.
The issue of non-parental custody is guided by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.10. A biological parent will be determined to be unfit if he or she is unable to meet the child’s basic needs. Children also have the right to live without abuse or being neglected. When a third party is granted custody, he or she will become legally responsible for the child’s well-being, residence, education, medical care, and many other important matters.
Call a Spokane Third Party Custody Attorney
There is a legal presumption that a parent having custody is in the best interests of a child, and it is often difficult to prove otherwise. Reach out to Twyford Law Office today to set up an initial consultation, so we may discuss your case and legal rights. We can be contacted through our form online or by calling (509) 327-0777.