Cases & Deals

Jones Day secures third party custody for long time foster parent

Client(s) Ms. M

Jones Day obtained a custody order awarding primary physical custody and joint legal custody of a four year old child to our client who had raised the child essentially from birth. Our client, who has been a foster mother for twenty-three years and has helped to raise nearly 30 children in addition to her two biological children and one adopted child, filed a complaint for third party custody under the D.C. Safe and Stable Homes for Children and Youth Act to obtain legal rights to continue to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs. The child’s biological mother opposed the complaint. After a bench trial, Judge Jeanette Clark of the D.C. Superior Court Family Court Domestic Relations Division found that physical custody with our client was in the child’s best interest and awarded the biological mother supervised visitation only. The court further found that joint legal custody should be shared between our client and the child’s biological mother, with our client retaining the right to make final decisions regarding the child’s safety and welfare.

2012 DRB 2030