Here are answers to frequently asked questions about Grandparent’s Rights and Third Party Custody:
What if I am NOT the parent of the child, can I still file for custody?
Generally, third party custody matters involve grandparents. However, anyone seeking custody of a child who is not their biological (or adopted) parent, the individual(s) must show the court that the natural (adopted) parent(s) are unfit (i.e. abuse, drug issues, or neglecting the child) or exceptional circumstances have occurred (i.e. the third party has historically been the primary caregiver of the child or the parent(s) abandoned the child). Further, even if a third party can prove that the natural (adopted) parent(s) are unfit or there are exceptional circumstances, the court must determine whether a custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child the same way they would if the parties are the natural (adopted) parents.
What if I am NOT the parent of the child and want only visitation, what rights do I have to see the child?