Third-party custody cases involve a person or persons, who are not a child’s parents, petitioning the Court for custody of the child. Two types of third-parties may petition the Court for custody: De Facto Custodians and Interested Third-Parties.
A De Facto Custodian is an individual that has been the primary caretaker for a child who has, within the twenty-four (24) months immediately preceding the filing of the custody petition, resided with the individual without a parent present and with a lack of demonstrated consistent participation by a parent for a period of: 1.) Six months or more, which need not be consecutive, if the child is under three years of age; or 2.) One year or more, which need not be consecutive, if the child is three years of age or older. A De Facto Custodian does not include an individual who has a child placed in their care: 1.) Through a custody consent decree; 2.) Through a court order or voluntary placement agreement; 3.) For adoption; or 4.) Through a standby custody designation unless that intent is indicated in the stand by custody designation. The burden is on the De Facto Custodian to prove their status and to prove that it is in the best interests of the child that they be granted custody. In making such a determination, the Court will examine certain factors surrounding the parent’s lack of demonstrated consistent participation.
Minnesota Third Party Custody Attorney
An Interested Third-Party is an individual who is not a De Facto Custodian who can establish either: 1.) That the parent has abandoned, neglected, or otherwise exhibited disregard for the child’s well-being to the extent that the child will be harmed by living with the parent; 2.) Placement of the child with the Interested Third-Party takes priority over preserving the day-to-day parent-child relationship because of the presence of physical or emotional danger to the child or both; or 3.) Other extraordinary circumstances. An Interested Third-Party must also prove that it is in the child’s best interests to be placed with them and that a Minnesota Statute governing the grant of custody to persons convicted of certain crimes will not be violated. An Interested Third-Party also cannot be an individual who has a child placed in their care through a custody consent decree, through a court order or voluntary placement or through adoption.
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*This material is educational only, it does not constitute legal advice, it should not be relied on and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.