The category of people that can easily file for non-parental visitation is any blood relative, stepparents, siblings, or half-siblings. File the paperwork in the superior court of whichever county the child resides in.

Be ready for a hearing if you submit a petition and affidavit from other people supporting your visitation request. The court will then look at whether you have an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child. Forming a relationship can occur through interaction, mutual interest, affection, and companionship and must have been ongoing for at least two years. However, If the child is under two years of age, your relationship must exist for at least half the child’s life. Additionally, the court will consider visitation if you can show that you wouldn’t subject the child to any risk or harm and that the visitation is in the child’s interest.

If you are a family member and would like to be granted visitation rights, you must ensure you can take good care of the child. You must be financially secure and mentally stable during the period the child will be with you.

As a final note, the court gives the custodial parent’s opinion considerable weight on whether you should have visitation. It should come as no surprise that parents often have the final say.

Chad Foster is a trusted family law and divorce lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.

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