De Facto Parent Representation
What is De Facto Parent Status?
A de facto parent is a person who has been found by the court to have “assumed, on day-to-day basis, the role of the parent, fulfilling both the child’s physical and psychological need for care and affection, and who has assumed that role for a substantial period.”
Factors That May Be Considered to Establish De Facto Parent Status Include but Are Not Limited to the Following:
- Whether the child has psychologically bonded with the applicant;
- Whether the applicant has acted as a parent on a day to day basis for a substantial amount of time;
- Whether the applicant has information about the child that the other parties in the case cannot provide; and/or
- Whether the applicant has regularly attended juvenile court hearings
Why Would I Want De Facto Parent Status?
- To participate in juvenile dependency court proceedings as a party.
- To present position and evidence to promote the best interests of the child in your care.
- To participate in the decision making regarding the child’s care and placement.
What, if any, rights do I have as a De Facto Parent?
If the Court finds there is a sufficient showing of the requisite facts to establish De Facto Parent status, the court may recognize the child’s present or previous custodians as de facto parents and grant standing to participate as parties in disposition hearings and any hearing thereafter at which the status of the dependent child is at issue.
The de facto parent may:
- Be present at the hearing;
- Be represented by retained counsel or, at the discretion of the court, by appointed counsel; and/or
- Present evidence