At one time, the State of Washington had some of the most liberal third-party (non-parent) visitation laws in the country. The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), 137 Wash. 2d 1, 969 P.2d 21, ruled that a law which allows anyone to petition a court for child visitation rights, over the objections of a “fit” parent, unconstitutionally infringes on the fit parents’ fundamental right to rear their children. Washington’s third party custody/visitation laws are more stringent now, but at least they still stand. So, in the case of an “unfit” parent, a third-party may petition the court to protect the child.
If your grandchild is in a bad situation with an irresponsible parent, or one who may be suffering from emotional problems, drug or alcohol abuse, or perhaps your grandchild has been placed in your care or abandoned by a parent, call (206)697.2099 to discuss the lawful options available to you.