Navigating The Complexities Of Third-Party Custody
Custody disputes between parents are often divisive and challenging legal problems. Custody matters can be even more divisive when a third party, such as a grandparent, other relative, or another person with a substantial connection to the child, attempts to get custody of a child. At Krueger, Juelich & Schmisek, PLLC, our knowledgeable lawyers have assisted many third parties in obtaining custody when it is in a child’s best interests and defended parents from such requests when it is not.
Our Minnetonka law firm helps clients in the Twin Cities and the surrounding areas with many types of family law problems. We have decades of child custody experience and a lengthy history of positive results for third-party custody cases. You can get immediate answers to your questions by calling our office at 952-373-8564.
Who Can Claim Third-Party Custody?
To be eligible to get third-party custody, the individual must be either a de facto custodian or an interested third party. These terms mean:
- De facto custodian: A de facto custodian is an adult who has acted as the primary caregiver for a child within at least 24 months of petitioning to obtain custody. The caregiver must have provided care, without the child’s parent present consistently, for six months if the child is under 3 years old or one year if the child is over 3. The caregiver’s time spent giving care does not have to be consecutive to qualify.
- Interested third party: An interested third party is a person who did not have the child placed in their care but who can show that the child’s best interests would be served if the child was in their care. The interested third party must prove three factors to qualify for third-party custody:
- The child’s parent has abandoned, neglected or disregarded their child’s well-being. Additionally, the child will continue to face harm if they live with their parent.
- The child is at risk for physical or emotional danger, which would take priority over maintaining the existing parent and child relationship.
- Other extraordinary circumstances would mean that the child staying with their parent would not be in their best interests.
Do Not Wait To Get Help With Third-Party Custody Cases
Third-party custody cases are complex, and creating an effective strategy requires extensive knowledge of the statutes. Additionally, many family court judges will hesitate to remove children from their biological parents without a compelling argument. Our lawyers have helped many clients like yourself obtain favorable outcomes and protect the children’s best interests.