In most child custody cases, there are two parents. However, a new law went into effect in California that will allow a child to have more than two parents if denying such a motion would not be in the best interests of the child.
This law, according to one attorney, will only be used in very limited situations. It is meant to grant parental rights to another individual whom the child considers to be a parent. That person, however, must be willing to take on the role of a parent. Some see this as very beneficial to the child, while others believe it will end up creating an unstable environment in the child's life.
Child support and child custody cases can be extremely complicated with only two parents involved. If more than two parents are seeking custody, it is easy to see how the courts may have a difficult time determining what is in the best interests of the child.
The courts will need to consider the implications of such a ruling, too. For example, will all three parents share weekly custody? Would a child suddenly be shuffled between three homes instead of two? While these may seem like minor details, it could, indeed, cause instability in a child's life if not handled properly.
For those who want to seek custody as a third parent, it is best to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Because this law is new, it may take some time for judges to become comfortable with issuing parental rights to more than two parents; however, an attorney can ensure that the case presented to the court is carefully thought out and prepared, giving you the best chance at a positive outcome.
Source: Valley Public Radio, "New California Law Allows Children To Have More Than Two Parents" Katie Orr, Jan. 03, 2014