Grandparent and Second Parent Rights

Grandparent Rights

Grandparents or third parties who have had a continued relationship with a child may petition the court for custody or visitation with the child under Oregon’s psychological parent statute.  There is a rebuttable presumption that the legal parent acts in the child’s best interests.  In order to obtain custody or visitation rights to a child under the statute, the person must produce evidence to rebut the presumption that the legal parent is acting in the child’s best interests.

Legal Requirements

To be considered a psychological parent and receive custody or visitation under Oregon law, the person must have established an ongoing child-parent relationship with the child. This is often the case when a grandparent or stepparent has taken on a primary role in the child’s life. A child-parent relationship may be established if the relationship exists within the six months preceding the filing of the petition; the person resided in the same house as the child, supplied the child with food, clothing, basic necessities, or shelter; the person provided the child with necessary care, education and discipline; the person’s interaction with the child continued on a day-to-day basis and fulfilled the child’s psychological needs for a parent. The relationship must have been ongoing with substantial continuity for at least one year through interaction, companionship, interplay and mutuality.

There are many factors that the court may consider in determining whether to award visitation, custody, or guardianship rights to an individual who has established a child-parent relationship with the child, including:

  • The person is or recently has been the child’s primary caretaker
  • The legal parent is unwilling or unable to adequately care for the child
  • Circumstances exist that are detrimental to the child if the request is denied
  • The legal parent has fostered, encouraged, or consented to the relationship between the child and the person
  • Granting the request would not substantially interfere with the custodial relationship
  • The legal parent has unreasonably denied or limited contact between the child and the person

If a grandparent or third party is awarded custody of the child, that person may be entitled to child support payable by the child’s birth parents.

Grandparent Rights Attorneys

Our attorneys have extensive experience representing grandparents and stepparents in obtaining custody or visitation with children they have a close relationship with. Do not allow the broken relationship with the child’s parent interfere with your ability to positively impact the life of your grandchild or stepchild. Contact our law office to discuss your rights under Oregon’s psychological parent statute.