When two parents are involved in their child’s life in equal measures or to a large degree, usually custody is always split between the two biological parents. However, not every child custody situation is the same as the next, which is when a third party comes into play. A third party might come into a custody situation when a parent does not have certain responsibilities over a child because they are incapacitated, incarcerated, or die. Usually, third parties are grandparents, siblings, and more – but they can be other people as well.
When Third Parties Play a Role
Usually, third party rights only become necessary in emergency situations. For instance, let’s say that a child’s parents have both passed away in a horrific car accident. As a result, the grandparents of the child might file for custody so that they can ensure that the child is cared for on a legal and physical level. However, what happens when one parent has been sent to jail and the other parent now has custody? As a result, the grandparents still want to seek some type of custody. If the primary custodian doesn’t agree to this, will it be permitted? Only when it is in the best interests of the child.
Only those who are deemed “fit” by the court will actually become third parties in a custody situation. Non-parent adults can sometimes gain custody, such as the grandparents of the child, their close relatives, stepparents or partners, and other adults who have been keeping the child at their residence for quite some time.
The courts will usually never give third party custody in situations where parents are fit, willing, and able to care for a child. The biological parents always get rights before anybody else when it comes to a custody situation. However, certain parties might still be able to obtain visitation in some cases.
No matter what, when you are going through a custody case, the best thing you can do for yourself is have an attorney on your side who understands your rights and can help you every step of the way. Call us to find out how we can assist you during this time.