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Grandparents' Rights Attorney in Spokane, WA

Grandparents have rights, but the scope of these rights is naturally more limited than the scope of the rights afforded to a child's parents. Grandparents' rights attorneys help grandparents understand these rights and represent them when they need legal counsel.
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Spokane Lawyers Aggressively Protecting the Rights of Grandparents

The bond between grandparent and grandchild creates a special relationship that aids in raising the grandchild and brings much joy to the grandparent. Sadly, some parents decide to deny their children's grandparents the opportunity to see and spend time with them.
At Hodgson Law Office, we are dedicated to representing grandparents in their quests to spend time with or protect their grandchildren. To speak with our divorce attorneys about your case, give us a call for a consultation.

What Legal Rights Do Grandparents Have in WA?

The law in Washington states that it is in the best interests of children when their parents are the primary decision-makers in their lives. In other words, grandparents' decision-making authority over their grandchildren is trumped by the will of the parents.
For example, a parent can deny a grandparent visitation rights under most circumstances.
In certain situations, however, grandparents have the right to petition family court for visitation privileges and even physical custody.
In circumstances where the grandparents end up with custody over their grandchildren, it is important to note that the grandparent is not considered to be a parent and does not enjoy a presumption of fitness as a parent would.
For example, if a birth mother gives her mother temporary custody of her child and is arrested for drug abuse, the courts will not automatically presume that the grandmother is a fit parent if the grandparent seeks to challenge parental custody.
Guiding the judge will be in the best interests of the child. If another party challenges the grandparents' custody, they may be awarded custody themselves if they are better for the child.
Handling Challenging Issues In Third-Party Custody Cases

Grandparent Visitation Rights

Although parents' rights trump grandparents' rights, Washington recognizes grandparents' right to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.
However, if a parent denies a grandparent visitation, the grandparent can only petition the court for visitation or custody when the parents have divorced, separated, are in the process of divorce, or are facing some other major family breakdown.
To be successful in petitioning a court for visitation rights, the grandparent must demonstrate that visitation will be in the best interests of the child.
The grandparents must also demonstrate:
  • They have had a relationship for at least two years with the grandchild or half of the child's life.
  • The grandchild and the grandparents desire for the relationship to continue.
  • The child will suffer if the visitations are not allowed.
In determining the best interests of the child, the courts will look at factors such as the nature of the grandparent/grandchild relationship and the grandparent's criminal history and history of abuse.

Grandparent Custody and Adoption Rights

Unfortunately, Washington law severely restricts the rights of grandparents in cases where a fit parent wishes to exclude a grandparent from a child's life. Where a child has resided with a grandparent or where both biological parents are unfit, however, a grandparent may have grounds to seek custody of a child through a third-party custody action.
If you are a grandparent, you may wish to seek custody of a grandchild for a variety of reasons:
  • Your grandchild was living with you and doing well, but the biological parent is now asking for the return of the child or has already taken the child.
  • Both biological parents may be unfit due to alcohol or chemical dependency, mental instability, or other challenges.
  • Your grandchild must be removed from biological parents who are abusive.
If you are a grandparent who needs to initiate a third-party custody action, or if you need to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your rights, I encourage you to contact me, attorney Mark D. Hodgson. I am an experienced Spokane grandparents’ rights attorney, and I am sensitive to the unique challenges presented by third-party custody cases. For assistance, contact my law office in Spokane, Washington.
Grandparent Custody and Adoption Rights

What If a Grandchild Is Not Safe in a Parent’s Custody?

It is not uncommon for parents to struggle for a period of time and place a child in the care of a grandparent. Single parents, in particular, often reach out for the assistance of grandparents when they do not have a spouse or former spouse to rely upon in tough times.
Frequently in such situations, a parent may need to place a child with a grandparent because he or she is unable to deal with the responsibilities of being a parent. Due to unemployment, chemical dependency, depression, or other challenges, the parent may need time before he or she is able to properly care for a child.
Complications may arise when the parent has left a child in the care of a grandparent for a protracted period of time and then determines that he or she wishes to remove the child from a grandparent. The grandparent may have doubts about the parent’s ability to provide proper care for the child. In other situations, the child may have adapted to a new home, neighborhood, and school. A sudden disruption could be harmful to the child’s well-being.
As mentioned above, another challenging issue is when a child is currently living with a parent who poses a risk of danger to the child. What if a single father has an alcohol or drug problem? What if a single mother is unfit or is involved with a man who is a convicted sex offender or has committed acts of domestic violence?

The Legal Process for Seeking Custody

The legal process for grandparents seeking custody of a grandchild begins with filing a written request with the court in the child's county of residence. The petition must contain the reasons for the custody request.
After the petition is filed, the court will assign an attorney to represent the child's best interests. A petition to obtain custody will only be granted if doing so will be in the best interests of the child.

Schedule a Consultation with a Grandparents' Rights Attorney in Spokane, WA

If you are seeking grandchild visitation or custody, Hodgson Law Offices will guide you and advocate for your and your grandchild's best interests. Contact our office today for a consultation.
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What If the Child Has Been Adopted?

As mentioned, grandparents have certain rights pertaining to their relationship with their grandchildren. These rights do not vanish if a child has been adopted. A grandparent seeking to be in their grandchild's life may still petition the court for visitation, even if the child has been adopted from the birth parents. The key metric will be the child's best interests.

Why You Need a Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer

Grandparents who are seeking visitation or custody of their children often have significant but not impossible legal hurdles to overcome. They must comply with various legal standards of proof and procedural requirements.
At Hodgson Law Offices, we consult, guide, and shepherd grandparents through the visitation or custody process, ensuring that they present the strongest case possible and remain in legal compliance with visitation or custody law. Most importantly, we listen and develop our strategies based on your needs and best interests.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Mark D. Hodgson

As an experienced Spokane attorney, I will protect your rights and guide you through your case. You do not have to go through this alone, I will help you every step of the way.
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Reviews from Our Clients

I hired Mark Hodgson for a divorce in Spokane. He was open, friendly, and gave me great advice and counsel. Mark was honest with me about my case and worked hard to resolve all of my issues quickly. He responded to my phone calls and questions every time. He was WONDERFUL in my hearing and got me alimony, child support, and the parenting plan that my children needed. I had two other lawyers before Mark and he is far superior to my previous counsel. He fought hard for me and he knew the law. I would and will recommend him to everyone that i know.
These situations are never easy. Deciding to get a lawyer then choosing one was a very hard decision. I spoke to a few people that have been thru divorce and Mark’s name came up more than once. I went and met with him, his business partners and Casey his assistant. They were all friendly, professional and most importantly for me nonjudgmental. He is very educated on divorce with children and keeps in mind what is best for the kids! He answered my questions and didn’t make me feel belittled as other lawyers did. Thank you Mark Hodgson and team you are all very appreciated!
Called Mark Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. He got us in that Friday the day after Thanksgiving. We decided to hire him and he made the time to start the process of paperwork that Sunday. It was great he did this so my wife and I didn’t have to miss work and our case was a time sensitive issue. The few times I’ve had to emailed him he seem to get right back to us with answers.
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Meet Our Attorneys

We are a dedicated team of family law and divorce attorneys driven by a passion for empowering clients. With personalized representation, we prioritize your goals and safeguard the well-being of you and your children. Meet our compassionate advocates below.

Mark D. Hodgson

I am committed to helping my clients through one of the most difficult times in their lives....
Mark D. Hodgson

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Contact Our Spokane Family Law Attorney to Get Legal Help

Hodgson Law Offices has faithfully advocated for many grandparents seeking visitation or custody of their grandchildren. Call our office today to get help, or fill out the form below.
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  • Will I be able to get visitation rights to see my grandchild now that my son is getting a divorce?

    It truly depends on your unique situation. As a grandparent, you are entitled to seek visitation when a married couple is going through a divorce. However, keep in mind that the court will always defer to the best interests of the child.

  • What if I have been the real primary parent all along?

    If you have been the child's primary parent, the court will take that into consideration. However, Washington law does not consider grandparents to be primary parents, which means there is no presumption of fitness for grandparents, and a qualified third party may challenge you for custody.

  • What should I do about my grandchild if I suspect my son or daughter is doing drugs?

    As a grandparent, you have no legal responsibility to act in this situation. However, most grandparents feel a moral obligation to protect the children, in which case, they should speak with an attorney for guidance on what should be done next.

  • Can a parent deny a grandparent visitation in Washington state?

    Yes. Although Washington State recognizes the importance of the grandparent and child's relationship, parents may still deny them visitation. However, certain situations allow a grandparent to petition the court for visitation, such as separation or divorce of the parents and child abuse.