Parental-Superior-Rights Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Parental-Superior-Rights Doctrine is a legal principle whereby in cases involving custody of a minor child, natural parents of the child are presumed to have superior rights than third persons over the child. Normally custody of a minor child is granted to a fit parent rather than another person as parents have the paramount right to custody, care, and nurturing of the child. This is one of the biggest barriers a non-party has to overcome when seeking custody of a child. This preference can be rebutted by proof that the child's best interests are to the contrary.

In deciding whether a parent is fit, the court considers if the parent can provide the required support and guidance for the child without state intervention. Usually the natural parent's poverty and other socioeconomic factors are irrelevant and will not be considered by the court, unless they establish neglect or unfitness.

This is also known as parental-preference doctrine or parental rights doctrine