Grandparents' Rights

Unfortunately, Washington law severely restricts the rights of grandparents in cases in which a fit parent wishes to exclude a grandparent from the life of a child. Where a child has resided with a grandparent or where both biological parents are unfit, however, a grandparent may have grounds to seek custody of a child through a third-party custody action.

If you are a grandparent, you may wish to seek custody of a grandchild for a variety of reasons:

  • Your grandchild was living with you and doing well, but the biological parent is now asking for the return of the child or has already taken the child.
  • Both biological parents may be unfit due to alcohol or chemical dependency, mental instability or other challenges.
  • Your grandchild must be removed from biological parents who are abusive.

If you are a grandparent who needs to initiate a third-party custody action, or if you need to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your rights, I encourage you to contact me, attorney Mark D. Hodgson. I am an experienced Spokane grandparents' rights attorney, and I am sensitive to the unique challenges presented by third-party custody cases. For assistance, contact my law office in Spokane, Washington.

Washington Child Custody Attorney Handling Challenging Issues In Third-Party Custody Cases

It is not uncommon for parents to struggle for a period of time and place a child in the care of a grandparent. Single parents, in particular, often reach out for the assistance of grandparents when they do not have a spouse or former spouse to rely upon in tough times.

Frequently in such situations, a parent may need to place a child with a grandparent because he or she is unable to deal with the responsibilities of being a parent. Due to unemployment, chemical dependency, depression or other challenges, the parent may need time before he or she is able to properly care for a child.

Complications may arise when the parent has left a child in the care of a grandparent for a protracted period of time and then determines that he or she wishes to remove the child from a grandparent. The grandparent may have doubts about the parent's ability to provide proper care for the child. In other situations, the child may have adapted to a new home, neighborhood and school. A sudden disruption could be harmful to the child's well-being.

As mentioned above, another challenging issue is when a child is currently living with a parent who poses a risk of danger to a child. What if a single father has an alcohol or drug problem? What if a single mother is unfit or is involved with a man who is a convicted sex offender or has committed acts of domestic violence?

Putting Children First

I encourage you to speak with me if you are considering a third-party custody case. One of the benefits of consulting with me is that I will provide you with candid advice. If I feel you do not have a strong case, I will tell you so. I believe that every client has a right to my forthright appraisal of his or her case.

If retained to handle your case, I will think proactively and strategically. There may be a way to obtain a positive outcome in your case without a protracted legal battle. If taking your case to court is necessary, however, I have considerable trial experience and am prepared to advocate vigorously on your behalf.

Contact A Spokane County Family Law Attorney

I represent clients throughout eastern Washington. To schedule a free consultation with a child custody lawyer, contact my law office at 509-720-8991 or contact me by email.