Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410

Grandparent Rights

Family Law
With regard to legal responsibility for a child (custody), the same rules apply to a grandparent as to any non-parent. Please see our page on Stepparent and Co-parent Rights. If you would like to learn more about your legal rights as a Grandparent, give us a call at 503-227-1515 or contact us online.  

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Grandparent Guardianship Attorneys

Understanding The Guardianship Process

The court will not award custody or visitation rights to any non-parent unless the court first finds that a child’s legal parent does not act in the best interest of the child (Oregon) or that neither legal parent is a suitable custodian (Washington). Only in that situation may an Oregon court award rights of custody or visitation to a grandparent or other non-parent; or a Washington court award legal custody according to what will be best for the child.

However, because of family ties with a grandparent, they may be uniquely positioned to assert the “ongoing personal relationship” or “child-parent relationship” which Oregon law requires; or to address the best interests of their grandchild in Washington.

Grandparents Guardianship Rights

An award of legal custody is not the only means to assume responsibility for a grandchild. Guardianship requires a similar threshold finding of parental “unfitness” by the court in order to allow parental authority to a non-parent. In such a case, a grandparent may be the most likely guardian. Guardianships may be terminated at any future time if either parent can show that he or she has become “fit” again. Custody awards, in contrast, are expected to continue indefinitely, subject to future modifications.

Grandparents Placements Rights

In extreme situations of child abuse or neglect, when the state becomes involved, grandparents may wish to make themselves available as a resource. Agencies generally prefer to place children with family members when possible. Such placement would be expected to last only until a child can safely return to the legal parents, or until their legal status as parents is terminated, so grandparents who are interested in keeping a grandchild should not wait but should take appropriate legal action from the earliest moment.

We can help.

Are you interested in learning more about your rights as a grandparent? If so, call Gevurtz Menashe today to speak with a family law attorney. Our Portland office number is: 503-227-1515 and our Vancouver offices can be reached at 360-823-0410. You may also contact us online at any time.

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.