If you’re a grandparent in Pennsylvania looking into your custodial rights, we’re here to help. There are laws in Pennsylvania that generally allow grandparents custody of a grandchild. Below, read about your potential rights as a grandparent seeking custody and how you could be able to receive custody.
Pennsylvania’s Act 112 of 2010 considers the “best interest of the child” the paramount consideration in making custody orders. It also provides three categories of persons who can file for any form of custody. These persons are:
In 2018, PA Act 21 added a fourth person to the list — any individual who clearly and convincingly establishes that:
These changes to the PA custody law ensure the child’s welfare is safeguarded and they ultimately receive the best care possible.
Pennsylvania’s Grandparent Visitation Act allows grandparents to seek visitation, or “partial custody,” under specific circumstances. These generally include that the child’s nuclear family unit is broken, and the grandparent must present the court with a visitation schedule that is in the child’s best interests and doesn’t impact their relationship with their parents.
The various types of custody can be categorized into two — legal and physical custody:
Legal custody gives an individual the right to make critical decisions concerning the child, including education, medical and religious decisions. Legal custody comes in two forms:
Physical custody is the physical possession and control of the child. It focuses on where and with whom the child spends their time. The court can award different types of physical custody, including the following:
When determining grandparents’ visitation rights in PA, the courts consider the child’s best interest, which may be influenced by several factors, including but not limited to the following:
Yes, a grandparent not standing in loco parentis of the child may seek primary physical custody if they meet the following conditions:
In many cases, the above requirements are challenging for a grandparent to meet. This, however, does not preclude a grandparent from having any custodial time. Grandparents who do not meet the requirements for standing for primary physical custody may meet the requirements for standing for partial physical custody.
Yes, grandparents may be able to obtain visitation rights, or partial physical custody, which is generally considered less than 50% of the custodial time in one of the following situations:
For many grandparents seeking custody, custodial rights are commonly obtained under the second situation above.
We understand that grandparents’ rights in Pennsylvania regarding child custody can be complex, so we offer our services to those in need. Our experienced attorneys will listen to you and provide the best solutions possible.
Buzgon Davis Law Offices has a deep local history and connections to the community, representing families in PA for years. If you are placed in a situation as a grandparent where you are interested in seeking custodial rights, contact us now to schedule a consultation!
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