Custody Rights for Grandparents

Obtain a Grandparent’s Custody Rights with Our Support

We often get phone calls from a grandparent who is seeking custody or visitation with a grandchild. Unfortunately, what has usually occurred, is that a son or daughter has run into trouble with the law, or is suffering with drug or alcohol related issues. That child will leave a grandchild with grandparents for a while, and then one of two things usually happens; either the parent of the grandchild suddenly returns, takes the grandchild and refuses to allow the grandparents to see the grandchild, or, the situation of the parent of the grandchild worsens, and they don’t come back to get the grandchild.

Learn More About The Oregon 3rd Party Custody Statute

Under the Oregon 3rd party custody statute, anyone can seek custody of a child if they can show they have a “child/parent relationship” as defined by the Oregon Revised Statutes 109.119. These cases are complicated because parents have a protected constitutional right to make decisions regarding their children and they are presumed to act in the best interests of their children. Once a third party can show they have a “child/parent relationship” they still have to establish they can rebut the presumption that the legal parent’s decision to deny contact is in the best interests of the child.

It is easier to obtain a court order granting you the right to visit with your grandchild as opposed to getting custody because it’s a lesser intrusion into the constitutionally protected rights of the parents. Instead of having to establish a “child/parent relationship” you need to establish an “ongoing personal relationship which is defined under the same statute.
Again the presumption that the legal parents is acting in the best interests of the child applies however it is somewhat easier to rebut the presumption when the third party is seeking visitation and contact with the child.

These cases can be complicated and its best to contact an attorney who has handled these cases in court.