Law Office of John S. Palmer Attorney at Law

(425) 455-5513

Third-Party Custody

A third-party custody proceeding does not extinguish either parent’s parental rights; if the petition is granted, the Court will issue a Residential Schedule, similar to the Parenting Plan entered in a divorce or legal separation proceeding. The Residential Schedule will specify when the child shall be in the custody of the third-party, and the parents’ visitation rights. A child support order may also be entered requiring one or both parent(s) to pay support to the third-party custodian.

Generally, the Court must give weight to the parent(s) basic constitutional right to raise children without governmental interference. However, if the petitioner seeking to be third-party custodian can establish “de facto parent” status, the Court will consider the petitioner to be on equal footing with the parent(s) and grant the petition if it is in the best interest of the child. To be considered a “de facto parent,” the petitioner needs to demonstrate:

Although the third-party custodian may be granted the right to do such things as enroll the child in school or consent to medical treatment, in some situations it may also be prudent for the third-party custodian to become the child’s legal guardian, which requires a separate court proceeding.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (425) 455-5513, toll free at (877) 455-5513, or

Local: (425) 455-5513
Toll Free: (877) 455-5513
Fax: (425) 455-5546
Law Office of John S. Palmer11911 NE 1st St, Ste. B204,Bellevue, WA 98005-3056