Third Party Custody Rights (Non-Parental Custody, Grandparent Rights)
This is a complex area of law. It is often said that grandparents have no rights to see their grand children. While this is generally true, there are some exceptions. Perhaps the most common is the case where a third party, someone other than a biological parent, has been caring for the children for some length of time. Court’s can enter orders giving third parties rights to visitation or be involved with caretaking. Also, parents can delegate their rights to third parties both orally and by written letter.
To establish third party custody rights when there is no agreement, or an agreement is difficult to reach, it generally requires filing a law suit to establish third party rights. Court’s can enter temporary orders to establish a parenting plan for third parties and parents as appropriate for the individual case.
Guardianship is generally not an option for obtaining custodial rights. Guardianship is generally more about obtaining the legal right to make decisions for someone else, rather than to establish the right to have a child live with you. The Law Office of Mark Baumann does do handle guardianship cases, and refers these cases to other lawyers when that is the appropriate legal vehicle.
If you are interested in establishing third party rights, it is recommended that you contact an attorney and develop a game plan for how to maximize the outcome and minimize the costs.