A de facto parent is a person found by the court to have assumed the role of a parent to the child. This means that the person has been fulfilling all the child’s needs in place of the biological parents. De facto parents tend to be relatives such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles. A person who seeks de facto parent status has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that they meet the criteria for receiving such status. Whether a person is entitled to receive De Facto Parent status depends on the individual and the unique circumstances of each case. De facto parents can be represented by a lawyer and can present evidence at hearings.
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