Can Non-Biological Parents Be Awarded Custody?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsChild custody for legal guardianship can be tricky. 90% of the time, biological parents have the upper hand in a child custody case. But in certain cases, non-biological parents may be given custody rights of the children. There are many factors which the court takes into consideration and then decides. If you are a non-biological parent looking for a way to win a custody battle, then keep reading. At the end of it you will understand what you need in order to win the custody battle.

Under what grounds

One of the grounds under which non-biological parents can get child custody is the court finding biological parents to be unfit. In cases where the court finds that biological parents are not good parents, the custody is awarded to non-biological parents. The court looks at what’s best for the child and then declares who should take custody. Other grounds include accident cases or instances where the biological parents go missing. In such cases, the court hands over the custody of children to non-biological parents.

To be considered as a non-biological parent, you must have spent a certain amount of time with the child. You need to be considered as “family” by both the child and the court.

Non-biological parental rights for fathers

If you are close to a child and the child considers you as a father, then the court may give you custody rights even though you are not the biological parent.

It is often presumed that biological parents are natural custody holders and in a number of cases parents win custody battles because of it. But a court of law looks upon parents as someone who can take care of the child and who the child is comfortable with. If you are a non-biological father battling for the custody of a child, then remember that your relationship with the child is the most important factor.

More than two legal parents in California

Recently, in California, a law was made that allowed a child to have two or more legal parents. The law is unique to the state of California because having three parents is very uncommon.

The bill was passed after three people – a man and two women, all met the criteria to become legal parents. At first, it was thought to be a weird idea but then the court re-considered and accepted the “rule of two”.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation