Third Party Custody and Visitation

As a result of rapid social changes, there are now many alternatives to the traditional nuclear family. It is not uncommon when a grandparent, uncle, aunt, step-parent, or other family member becomes, in essence, a parent to another family member’s child. In those circumstances, it may be possible for that person to obtain legal custody of the child, or visitation rights. This is often referred to as “third party” or grandparent custody.

For a person who is not a parent to obtain custody or visitation rights, however, can be very difficult. That is because, under the United States Constitution, there is a presumption that a fit parent acts in the best interests of his or her child. As a result of that presumption, if a fit parent objects to the other family member having custody or visitation rights, there are legal and factual hurdles that can make obtaining third party custody or visitation a very difficult task.

Peter has helped a number of clients in third party custody disputes. The Oregon Court of Appeals also appointed Peter to represent a child in an appeal in which the child’s grandparents were awarded legal custody. As a result of his experience in this area, Peter can help you decide whether you have a good claim for third party custody or visitation. If a third party is seeking to establish custody or visitation rights to your child, Peter will work with you to determine what is best for your child.

Previous Page