Rights to Third Parties (Grandparents, Stepparents, Relatives)

Visitation and Custody

Cases involving rights of third parties in Oregon are among the most difficult in domestic relations practice. The law, defined by the statutes and case law, is complex. Establishing facts to form a basis for a valid right to visitation and custody is challenging. Even the definition of what constitutes a "third party" is difficult to determine. Timing of the filing of an action is also critical to the application of the rights of third parties. Oregon applies a standard that the biological parent is presumed to be a "fit and proper" parent. A third party must overcome that presumption. It is important that a party seeking intervention to protect a child consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible. Proper preparation and administration of the case is paramount in achieving a successful result.