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Sometimes in a child’s life, there is someone besides the parent, like a Grandparent, Aunt, or Uncle, who is involved in his or her life. In Minnesota, a third party can petition the Court for child custody as a De Facto Custodian or an Interested Third Party.

To be a De Facto Custodian, you must show that you have been the primary caretaker of the child for the 24 months leading up to the filing of the petition; and the child resided with you without a parent present and the parent lacked demonstrated consistent participation for a period of 6 months or more if the child is under 3, or 1 year or more, if the child is 3 or older. Lack of demonstrated consistent participation can mean when a parent refuses or neglects parental responsibilities, like providing the child food, shelter, clothing, or healthcare.

To be an Interested Third Party, you must show that one of the following situations exist:

  1. The parent has abandoned, neglected, or otherwise exhibited disregard for the child’s well-being;
  2. Placement with the third party trumps preserving the day-to-day parent-child relationship because of the presence of physical or emotional danger to the child; or
  3. Extraordinary circumstances.

Further, you must prove to the Court that it is in the best interests of the child to be in the custody of the third party. The Court considers a multitude of factors, which include the amount of involvement of the third party, the amount of involvement of the parent with the child, and the facts and circumstances of the absent parent.

If you have questions related to de facto custodian or interested third party questions, child custody issues, or parenting time concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office (952) 224-9410