How Can Third Persons Impact A Child Custody Case?

mother and daughter

Parenting decisions and issues are often one of the most important determinations in a Florida divorce case. Parents are the major decision makers, but there are others who may have a serious impact on the outcome of the case. Third persons, also known as third parties, can substantially alter the decision of the court, and it is important to understand how your case could be impacted by others. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, we have helped many clients navigate difficult parenting cases. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

Who are Third Persons?

There are many different people who may be identified as a third person or third party in a parenting case. Typically, these are people who are related to or associated with the parents or child involved in the case who may be able to provide valuable evidence about what parenting decision is in the child’s best interest. Some of the most common third persons involved in a parenting (custody) case include the following:

  • Grandparents,
  • Siblings,
  • Extended family members,
  • Neighbors,
  • Teachers,
  • Coaches,
  • Romantic partners, and
  • Other associates

The Impact of Third Parties

The impact of third parties on a parenting (custody) matter cannot be overstated, and in some situations they have the ability to fundamentally alter the outcome of a case. Family member that are not the parents, such as grandparents, siblings, and extended family members, do not have the same rights as parents in a child-related (custody) matter, but their connection with the child could sway the court to award more time to one parent or the other. This is particularly true if a non-parent has spent time raising the child and wants to continue to have a relationship with the child.

Neighbors, teachers, and coaches can also provide significant evidence about the best interests of the child. Typically, these third persons can speak to the closeness of the child with their neighborhood, school, and extracurricular activities. These third parties can also provide evidence of any possible abuse or neglect that occurs when a child spends time with one parent, as they are likely to see or hear such evidence given their proximity to the child.

Romantic partners and other associates can also fundamentally alter the outcome of a child-related (custody) case. In order to determine the best interests of a child, the court must look at everyone within that child’s sphere, including those that a parent chooses to interact with. This is particularly true if a parent is allowing romantic partners and others to associate with their child in the home. New romantic partners and other associates can impact the original determination of a child-related (custody) case as well as proposed modifications of an existing custody order.

Talk to Our Office

Do you have more questions about how third persons may impact your custody case ? If so, the Boca Raton parenting plan and timesharing lawyers at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg can help. Call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.