First thing parents ask is "what are my rights?"  When really they should ask "what is right for my child."  This doesn't just apply to parents but the whole extended family.  Everyone asks that question.  So here's a visual of the hierarchy of rights for the extended family.


Hierarchy of rights
Hierarchy of rights



What are My Child Custody Rights


A father has rights to see his child.  Just like a mother has rights to see her child.  In the same way, children have rights to both parents.  As time goes by, more courts recognize this which is different than a few decades ago when there was "tender years doctrine".  Some judges still remember that, but many are moving away from it.  It's up to you to make sure your judge moves away from that.

You can check child custody case laws to find this is shifting.  Use the case law in your case to win your argument.


Are there reasons for one or both parents not getting joint custody, yes.  That's where it's up to you to describe those situations, factually.  That's where routine journaling helps.


Grandparent's Rights

Do grandparents have rights to spend time with child?  Yes, but not over the right of parents, with exceptions.  Exceptions include if the parents are unwilling, unable, incarcerated, or unavailable.


Other Relative's Rights
The other question most often asked is can a "non parental have custody"?  Can those who are not the biological parents have child custody?  Yes, under the right circumstance, again, if the parents are unwilling, unable, incarcerated, or unavailable.  For example, if your status quo history shows that you've had a relationship with the children for the past six months or more, then yes, you can make that official.  You'd want to make this official for many reasons including child tax credits.  Join our meetings to learn more. 


What do I do?


So how can a father get more custody? Or mother or grandparent or second wife or aunt or uncle?  Or how to get legal guardianship of a child by a non parent? 

If you're regularly providing all the daily care of the child, write this down every day or week.  Write all the important facts that judges and lawyers would need to know. 

You must follow three steps, which are explained in detail here.  Simply journal what happened and when, then petition the court to change custody to enforce their order, and three explain when you get there.

In the next ten seconds you can start your journal here.

Start Journal in 10 seconds

Three steps : journal, petition, explain
Three steps : journal, petition, explain


How do I find family court case law about my circumstance?  How do I find case law about how father's, mother's, grandparents and relatives can see their children?

You can even be alerted when new cases are published about your child custody circumstance.




Find laws that help you such as

  • Recent child custody case law
  • Father child custody rights
  • Legal rights as a mother
  • Custody rights of unmarried parents
  • Children's rights to both parents
  • Non-parental child custody
  • Can I take my child to another state
  • Can a father take his child