Stacey L. Graus and Olivia F. Amlung recently received an opinion from the Court of Appeals affirming a trial court determination that the aunt of a minor child who had parented that child for the first five years of his life qualified as a de facto custodian and would continue to serve as the primary residential parent.  The Court determined that it was in the child’s best interests to remain with the aunt who had essentially substituted as the mother of the child in that the biological mother (the aunt’s sister) had been in and out of jail while struggling with addiction issues.  The biological father had argued that he should be the primary residential parent, but the Court determined that the aunt stood on the same footing as the biological parent once she met the de facto custodian standard.