Model Third-Party [Non-Parental] Contact Act Law and Legal Definition

Model Third-Party (Non-Parental) Contact Act is an act recommended by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This act addresses whether and under what circumstances a court may order contact between a child and a third party (a person other than a parent) over parental objection. The model statute was developed with five broad principles as background. One, parents generally ought to have the power to control the details of their child’s upbringing. Two, the children ought to have rights independent from their parents. Three, any effort that results in forcing parents to permit contact with non parents over paternal objection must be through judicial process. Four, formal dispute resolution through judicial process can have many negative costs. Five, even though the courts have maximum opportunity to determine a child’s best interests in third party visitation or custody cases, this can lead to unwanted litigation which is detrimental to the child. The model statute does not address claims for custody, conservatorship, guardianship or joint or shared custody.