Third Party Custody & Grandparents' Rights

What if a parent(s) abandons a child or is unfit to care for him or her? In a situation like this, a grandparent or another appropriate adult (third party) who is not the parent of the child can pursue custody and visitation time. 

Grandparent custody meaning, if the parents are endangering their children through negligence or abuse, we can help grandparents seek custody to protect the best interests of their grandchild(ren). Grandparent visitation meaning, when parents’ divorce or if a parent is deceased, we can help grandparents obtain visitation rights, even if the grandchildren do not live with their biological mother or father. If the grandparents are not able to obtain custody in this type of situation, a third party may intervene and pursue custody.

Under Minnesota law, third party custody proceedings typically arise under extraordinary circumstances where biological parents may be deceased or unable to provide care for their child, or where a child is abandoned, abused or neglected. Third party custody referring to, someone who does not meet the definition of a de facto custodian, but who has evidence to show that the child will be harmed by living with the parent(s), and that either the child is in danger of physical or emotional damage by staying with the parent(s).

A de facto custodian is someone who has been the primary caretaker for the child and has resided with the child for a period of 6 or more months in the previous 2 years without the parent’s consistent participation in providing care for the child. If you feel that your grandchild(ren) are in danger or are suffering from emotional or physical abuse, do not hesitate to consult with Seymour Family Law, we explain and clarify all of your legal rights and will help you decide the best course of action you should take.


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