Understanding third party custody
The Texas Grandparent Access Law was enacted almost 20 years ago to protect the relationship between children and their grandparents. The purpose of the law is to give grandparents options for maintaining contact after divorce, death or other circumstances that may befall the parent.
Recently the Grandparent Access Law has come under scrutiny. Local NBC station, KCBD.com,in Lubbock, TX, is reporting “recent allegations claim the law has been turned upside down and used as a weapon to take children away from perfectly good parents.” While this debate is based in Texas, it does raise questions of grandparents’ rights in Oregon. Grandparents often play a vital role in the lives of their grandchildren. Unfortunately, divorce, death, substance abuse, or incarceration can affect the access grandparents have to their grandkids in Oregon.
Grandparents’ rights fall under the umbrella of third party custody rights. Gaining access under third party custody rights can be a challenging prospect as the courts favor biological parents. To gain custody as a third party, several key facts must be established — including that the biological parent is not acting in the best interest of the child. This can be difficult to determine because even if they aren’t the greatest parents, it doesn’t meant they are working adversely to their child’s interests. If it is possible to establish that the parent isn’t acting in the child’s best interest, then a third party custody case can be pursued.
It can be a tough road to obtain third party custody. Unlike biological parents, grandparents visitation isn’t a constitutional right. But grandparents can play an important and positive role in their grandchildren’s lives.
Answers to you third party custody questions
Because third party custody is a complex area of law, and every case is unique, we encourage you to give us a call. Our managing attorney, Colin Amos, will be able to answer your specific questions over the phone for free and with no obligation.