Including Third Party Rights to Children
As a grandparent, relative, or other non-parent you may have rights to ongoing contact with a minor child. In both Oregon and Washington, this also includes the possibility of seeking legal custody over the objections of the legal parents in limited cases.
To pursue rights as a third party, there must be either a relationship including the fulfillment of traditional parental duties or a continuous long-term visitation or contact arrangement.
Because of constitutional constraints, the laws generally favor the legal parents in contests involved third parties (non-parents). The legal and evidentiary burdens on a third party are significant and to prevail, there must first be a determination that the legal parents are not acting in the child’s best interests. There are both factual and time-based criteria that must be satisfied as preliminary steps in the court’s analysis.
The lawyers at Gearing, Rackner & McGrath have successfully represented clients on both ends of the spectrum. We can provide advice and, if necessary, effective advocacy to protect your legal rights in a contested third party custody or visitation proceeding.
If you need guidance to pursue your rights as a grandparent, relative, or non-parent, our firm’s award-winning attorneys can assist you with each step in the process.
Contact us today at 503.222.9116 for a consultation with an award-winning attorney.