Typically, it is best for children to live in the care of their mother and/or father. Even in cases in which a mother or father is not perfect, courts will generally prefer the custody of children to remain with a biological parent unless there is reason to believe that the child’s physical, medical or emotional health is in jeopardy.
However, due to drug abuse, alcoholism, criminal activity or abuse, some mothers and fathers simply are not a healthy influence on their children. When an unfit parent endangers the physical or emotional well-being of a child in a significant manner, Washington law does permit a court to issue a court order that places custody of the children with a grandparent, sibling or third party.
It is not necessary that the third party be a relative. The interested third party may be a concerned friend of the family or any other adult who has a significant relationship with the child. The party seeking non-parental custody, however, must convince the court that custody of the child with their custodial parent is a danger to the child and placement with the party seeking custody is in the best interest of the child.
At the law office of Tim Edwards & Associates, P.S., we offer experienced and dedicated legal service for people involved in a custody or visitation dispute. Our firm practices exclusively in divorce and other family law matters, including child custody motions involving a request for non-parental custody. If you are seeking non-parental custody of a child or if you are a parent opposing a petition for nonparental custody, we can help. Attorney Tim Edwards has 40 years of experience with family law cases and is passionate about the health and welfare of children.
To ask a question or schedule an appointment regarding child custody, visitation or another family law matter, contact Tim Edwards & Associates, P.S. in Auburn.