Visitation is one of the many aspects that need to be addressed in family law. The rights granted to parents allow them to maintain existing relationships while looking after the needs and best interests of children.
But many people aren’t aware of the impact that third parties have on visitation decisions. Third parties include relatives and custodians who may also be invested in the wellbeing of a child.
As a result, there are many things you should consider when third parties might affect your visitation.
Who Are Third Parties?
Courts typically view parents as the individuals who are most capable of providing the proper supervision, home, and resources to a child. But third parties can present evidence indicating that one or both parents are unfit to care for a child.
Certain issues may cause a third party to challenge the court’s decision related to visitation and custody. Your family law attorney can help you navigate the courts when presenting evidence of a parent’s inability to care for a child when you are a third party.
If you’re a parent facing third-party rebuttals, your attorney will provide you with the resources needed to maintain visitation rights with your child.
Georgia law prioritizes the child’s best interests before parental privileges. In addition, there are consistent standards in place in what ultimately determines the best interest of the child.
Third parties may include grandparents, stepparents, and non-parents. Non-parents include partners of any deceased parent, uncles or aunts, and adoptive or foster parents.
Granting Third-Party Rights
There are some relatives who may be granted visitation and custody rights. In these cases, it’s possible that both parents lose their custody rights to a third party.
This impacts future visitation rights and can lead to other issues within the family. These cases include situations in which neither parent is able to care for the child or if the parent who served as the custodian dies, leaving an unfit parent to raise the child.
A child may also have spent a significant amount of time living with a third-party relative, while in other cases, parents may have given up their child visitation or custody rights. These and other cases can lead to third-party impacts on visitation.
Third parties must be able to demonstrate an existing interest in visitation or custody cases. This is referred to as having “legal standing” and is an important factor in the decisions that are made by the courts.
Family law attorneys help individuals present their case in establishing legal standing and gaining visitation rights as third parties.
How Do Courts Decide Third-Party Visitation
Different states have their own standards for making decisions that relate to third-party custody or visitation rights.
In most cases, a third-party is first awarded rights, and a rebuttal to the presumption of parental rights is presented. The court then implements the standards used to determine the best interests of the child before making a final decision.
A family law attorney can explain the many factors that must be considered when seeking or facing a third-party visitation or custody rebuttal.
Having the guidance you need helps you determine the best interest of your child while ensuring that your preferences and needs are met.
The death of a parent, termination of parental rights, and other factors can all lead to third-party visitation claims.
Your family law attorney helps you petition for visitation or custody rights while helping you understand the often complex legal landscape that pertains to these and other family law cases.