Martinez v. VaziriAnnotate this Case
Uncle, the half-brother of the child’s biological father, supported mother after father abandoned her during the pregnancy and has been very involved in the child’s care. Father has had very little interaction with the now-three-year-old girl. The trial court denied uncle’s petition to establish a parental relationship, as a third natural parent, finding that uncle met the statutory criteria of a presumed parent, but that the presumption was rebutted under amended Family Code section 7612(c) and (d). Pursuant to section 7612(c), the trial court found that recognizing only two parents—mother and father—would not be detrimental to child, and ruled that, under section 7612 (d), an earlier filed judgment of parentage for father rebutted uncle’s presumed parent status. The court of appeal reversed; the trial court failed to consider all relevant factors, particularly the willingness and availability of one of the parents to take custody of child, if such a need were to arise, and whether a familial relationship exists between that parent and child such that the recognized value of two parents can be fulfilled in a meaningful way. That value may be expressed in the opportunity for financial support and its appurtenant rights and benefits.