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Washington State Considers Bill Allowing Third-Party Child Visitation

When a divorce occurs and a court awards custody of the children to one or both parents jointly, along with the best interests of the child is the notion that such a child should continue to enjoy full relationships with both parents.  That belief is strong and the protection of parental rights around the United States is equally strong in most cases.  However, a bill being considered in Washington State right now could substantially impact some basic parental rights.

 

The bill, known presently as House Bill 2193, is commonly known as a ‘third party visitation’ bill that would allow any person who “has established an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child” to petition the court to allow them to have visitation rights with that child.  This can be done and the visitation can be approved even if a parent objects to the petition.  News of the bill is eliciting strong reactions from parents and backers of parental rights.

Some of the discussion involves the possibility of this bill not applying to two-parent homes, but it would not necessarily involve only those parents are divorced.  For instance, if one parent is working out of state for a period of time, a third party may be able to petition the court for visitation.  No one is yet sure about the bill’s chances for passing, but as it moves through the legislature it is sure to continue to prompt strong reactions.

San Diego Child Custody Lawyers

If this bill does pass and become law, it would substantially alter many of the norms and decisions that have until know been exclusively within the purview of a child’s parent or parents.  In California, parents retain these rights absent some sort of criminal conduct, and custodial parents are awarded custody so that they can continue to make the important decisions that relate to the life of a child.

If you are facing the possibility of a legal battle with regards to your rights as a parent, you need to seek the help of San Diego child custody lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers for many years.  Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.