Helping Families for 25+ Years

Third Parties’ Custody Rights in California

Why Parents May Lose Their Custody Rights

Since parents hold a preferred position under law, the court will presume that the parent is most fit and adequate individual to raise their child. However, there are cases where not one, but both parents are not suitable to raise their child.

If there is evidence that both parents have neglected, abused, or otherwise failed to provide the proper care for their child, both parents can lose their rights and a third party can be awarded custody of a child. There are other situations where a non-parent can seek and obtain custody of a child, such as if the custodial parent passes away and the surviving parent is unfit or unwilling to claim custody of the child or if both parents voluntarily relinquish their rights to the child.

If you are a third-party individual who is seeking to obtain custody rights of a child, you must hire a lawyer to obtain the most favorable results possible. With more than 25 years of combined experience, our Rocklin family lawyers at the Law Offices of Keegan & Myers PC have a complete understanding of California family law to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

Who Can Seek Custody of a Child?

To file a request for custody, a third-party non-parent must have “legal standing,” which means the ability to show the court a connection to or interest in the child in-question. For example, if a grandparent or relative has served as the child’s primary custodian for several years is enough to demonstrate legal ties to file for custody.

The same factors which apply in a traditional custody case apply when choosing custody in favor of a third party, such as the best interests of the child. While a child’s best interests are typically served by remaining in the family home with their biological parents, the parents can still lose their right if the court decides that their ability to provide care is not in the child’s best interests.

The following are the common third parties who can obtain child custody:

  • Grandparents
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Stepparents
  • Partners of deceased parents

Call (916) 634-0067 to Get Started. Serving Placer County & Sacramento.

When the biological parents are unfit to take care of their own child, the court needs to make sure that they are in the right hands. Our Rocklin family law attorneys are highly responsive and attentive, providing the compassionate legal services our clients need to obtain the outcome they desire.


Contact us and schedule a consultation today.