Whereas child custody and visitation matters come up most often as part of divorces, parents experiencing a divorce are not the only individuals that may be involved in a child custody case. Custody challenges can come up between unmarried parents; grandparents are able to seek to impose their rights of visitation with their grandchildren; and in rare situations family members or others having a close relationship with a child might seek to be granted custody.
The below is a post of the laws and procedures regarding child custody and visitation without divorce.
Custody Without Divorce
Consequently, the decision-making process is concentrated almost solely on child custody. Therefore, settlement of custody and visitation may be more streamlined for unwed parents. If unwed parents don’t come to a child custody and/or visitation agreement without going to court, the issue is going to go before a family court judge for settlement.
Specifically, when making child custody determinations involving unwed parents, the family court’s main consideration is going to be to identify the child’s “primary caretaker.”
In some cases, individuals other than a child’s parents, such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, or close family friends, may seek custody. This is often referred to as ‘non-parental’ or ‘3rd-party’ custody in some states, while others call it ‘guardianship’ of the child. Regardless of the terminology, many states have specific procedures for individuals pursuing non-parental custody.
The process usually begins with the individual seeking custody filing a ‘non-parental custody petition’ with the court. This document establishes the person’s relationship to the child, the parents’ status (living, deceased, or location unknown), and the reasons for seeking custody. It often involves serving a copy of the petition to the child’s parents if they are alive and their location is known.
In Washington state, non-parents must file a custody petition when the child is not in parental custody. If parents object, specific criteria must be met for success.
- The parent(s) is/are unsuited; or
- Placing a child with an otherwise fit parent would adversely impact the child’s growth and development.
Grandparents’ Rights to Visitation
Establishing Custody and Visitation Without Divorce? Speak with an Attorney
Custody battles can be very emotional and procedurally complex. The aid from a qualified attorney can help guarantee that you acquire the custody and visitation terms you are pursuing. Locate a knowledgeable child custody attorney near you and find some peace of mind.
Custody and visitation without divorce. Findlaw. (2018, November 21). Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/child-custody/custody-and-visitation-in-non-divorce-cases.html
Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Phoenix
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