Third-party custody

In some custody situations, it is possible that the child/children will not remain with either of their natural, biological, parents, but instead custody is awarded to a third person Generally speaking, third-party custody occurs when one of two options occur:.[1]

  • The biological parents do not want custody of the child/children.
  • The biological parents are incapable of caring for the child/children.

Voluntary relinquishmentEdit

Occasionally, parents will agree to allow an adult (who is not either of the two parents) to raise their child/children. Generally, if either parent changes his/her mind later in the child's life, he/she has the option to seek custody at that point.[1]

Unfit parentsEdit

Custody may be awarded to a third adult (who is not either of the two parents) because the parents both seemed unfit to do so. Reasons that the court would retain authority over the child/children and later award custody to a third adult include:[1]

  • Child abuse/neglect.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Deliberate desertion/abandonment of the child/children.
  • Inability to provide an adequate income which is necessary for the raising of a child.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Webster Watnik (April 2003). Child Custody Made Simple: Understanding the Laws of Child Custody and Child Support. Single Parent Press. pp. 16–38. ISBN 978-0-9649404-3-7. Retrieved 25 September 2011.