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How Third Parties Can Impact A Child Custody Case


Child custody in a divorce or paternity case is often a complex and difficult issue. What many people do not realize about custody matters is that others can impact the outcome more than just the child and their parents. Third parties, or third persons, can dramatically alter the decision of a child custody matter, and the experienced Orlando family law attorneys at the Donna Hung Law Group are here to help explain how they could impact your case. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

Who is a Third Party?

Many people associated with a family may be considered a third party in a child custody case. Generally, a third person is someone who is either related or otherwise involved with the parents or the child in a meaningful way. A third party may provide helpful evidence to the court about the circumstances of the child’s life with one or both parents, or their association with a parent may alter the determination of what custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Some of the most common people identified as third parties in Florida child custody cases include the following:

  • Siblings,
  • Grandparents,
  • Extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins),
  • Teachers,
  • Coaches,
  • Neighbors,
  • Romantic partners, and
  • Other associates

How Third Parties Can Impact Custody

The effects of third parties on the outcome of a child custody case can be significant, and in some cases a third person can completely change the outcome of a custody matter. One common example of this involves family members that are not the parents of a child, such as siblings, grandparents, and extended family members like aunts, uncles, and cousins. Under Florida law, these family members do not have the same rights to a child as their parents, but if the child has a strong relationship with familial third parties or spent time being raised by another family member that was not a parent the court may award custody in a way that allows these family members to spend more time with the child.

Third persons who spend considerable time around a child may also impact a custody case. Neighbors, teachers, and coaches can provide valuable evidence about the child’s life and relationship with their parents. They can testify to the particulars of a child’s home life as well as whether there has been any suspicion of neglect or abuse, as their proximity to the child can provide these important insights during a custody case.

Lastly, romantic partners and other associates of the parents could alter the outcome of a custody case. Part of determining what is in the best interests of a child is assessing everyone that will be in the child’s life, including those who are associated with the parents. If a parent is involved, romantically or otherwise, with people who have criminal histories, issues with substance abuse, or other problems that may endanger the welfare of a child it could be used as evidence in a custody case.

Call or Contact Our Office Now

If you are interested in learning more about how third parties may impact your Orlando custody case, call or contact the Donna Hung Law Group today to schedule a consultation.