For various reasons, Washington State courts may award custody of a child to a third party, such as a grandparent or other relative. However, third-party custody cases are typically contested and can be highly complex. Whether you are a parent fighting against a third-party custody decision or non-parent seeking custody of a child, our third-party custody lawyers at Cohen Family Law, LLC can help. Call (360) 953-5000 or contact us online for your free consultation today.
Why Choose Cohen Family Law, LLC?
With more than 25 years of combined experience, you can trust us to handle even the most challenging type of family law matter.
We will provide you with the aggressive representation you need to obtain a favorable outcome.
We understand how important and emotionally charged third-party custody cases can be, and we’ll make it a point to keep you informed about your case.
Why You Need a Clark County Third Party Custody Lawyer
Third-party custody cases are often very challenging. They require specific pleadings in your initial request for custody, as well as overcoming a parent’s constitutional rights to have custody of their children. An experienced attorney will have a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and what evidence you need to demonstrate to the court that third-party custody rights would be in a child’s best interests. Even if the parent has given their consent to third-party custody, a judge will still make the final decision. Custody is granted to those who are not a child’s parents only under certain circumstances. A third-party custody and visitation lawyer who has handled will help you navigate the process.
When Can A Third Party Be Granted Custody In Washington State?
Third party custody, also known as non-parental custody, is guided by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.10 and typically only granted under extreme circumstances, such as the following:
The legal parent cannot or is unwilling to provide adequate care for the child (e.g., abusive, negligent, abusive, addiction, unfit, deceased);
The third party requesting custody is or has recently been the child’s primary caretaker;
If third party custody is denied, the child’s existing circumstances would be detrimental to them;
The legal parent encouraged, fostered, or consented to the relationship between the child and the third party requesting custody; or,
The legal parent has unreasonably denied or limited contact between the child and the third party requesting custody.
Solid evidence must be presented to prove a parent’s inability, ineptitude, or refusal to provide a safe and secure environment for their child. It is important to note that if a third party is granted custody, the decision can be later overturned if the legal parent appeals.
Contact Us for Assistance
If you need help with a family law matter related to third-party custody, the third-party custody and visitation attorneys at Cohen Family Law, LLC can help. We can advise you on your rights and legal options based on your specific situation. We offer free consultations; call (360) 953-5000 or email us online today.