When Nonparents Seek Custody Rights

In Washington, nonparents, legally referred to as third parties, may seek custody of minor children. A third party can be a grandparent, aunt, uncle, older sibling, friend, neighbor or any nonparent who wishes to obtain custody rights. In many cases, third parties intervene to protect a child from abuse, abandonment, neglect and other dangers resulting from unfit or absent parents.

If you are seeking third-party child custody rights in Washington, the attorneys at Chvatal Law are here to help you explore your legal options. We handle a broad range of child custody issues and other family law matters for clients in Richland and throughout the Tri-Cities area.

Third-party custody cases are complex. For a court to grant custody to a third party, there must be a compelling reason for the child to not remain with his or her biological parents. Third parties seeking custody rights must meet rigorous standards.

In some cases, parents willingly give up custody to a family member, but often these matters are contested. Situations that may warrant allowing a third party custody rights include substance abuse, physical abuse, mental illness and other factors that expose a child to harm.

Protecting Grandparents' Rights

Some states have specific laws regarding grandparents' rights, but in Washington, a grandparent's custody rights fall under the general category of third-party custody rights. Whether you are a grandparent or another well-meaning relative or friend, we are here to help you do what is best for the child involved.

Talk To A Lawyer Who Can Help

We are prepared to handle complex and sensitive family law problems for clients throughout the Tri-Cities area. To learn more or to schedule your initial consultation, please contact us online or by telephone at 509-392-8252.