Posted on 04/27/2017 at 2:28pm

Custodial Rights for Grandparents in Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, when a relationship ends and there are children involved, it sometimes means that the grandparents are also affected. At the Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C. we defend the rights of grandparents in Pennsylvania who wish to seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren.

Even if the parents cannot get along, the children and grandparents should be allowed to sustain their relationship, where possible. In any action for the custody of children, the court must analyze several factors when fashioning a custody schedule. All determinations regarding custody must consider what is in the best interests of the child. Pursuant to 23 Pa. C.S. Section 5325, grandparents have standing to asserts a claim for partial physical custody in the following circumstances:

• Where the parent of the child is deceased, a parent or grandparent of the deceased parent may file an action under this section;
• Where the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage; or
• when the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, an action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.

If a grandparent or great-grandparent asserts a claim for custody of a child, the custody statute looks to these additional factors:

• The amount of personal contact between the child and the party prior to the filing of the action;
• Whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
• Whether the award is in the best interest of the child.

Further, when deciding whether a grandparent or great-grandparent is awarded partial physical custody or supervised physical custody, the court shall also consider whether the award:

• Interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
• Is in the best interest of the child.

Other grandparent issues include custody given when parents are unfit to raise their children. If you are involved in such a matter, seek our guidance and strong legal representation. We’ll fight for your right and the best interest of the child or children involved.

Our team of attorney’s work tirelessly with our clients to put together the best possible analysis and presentation of the factors listed above to place you in the best scenario to seek the custodial arrangement that is in the best interest of the minor child. If you have questions regarding grandparents’ rights, click or call 610-892-3877.

About Melissa Towsey

Melissa graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002 with a double major in Sociology and Foreign Affairs. After working for several years as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., she attended The University of Villanova School of Law and graduated in 2010. During law school, Melissa was involved in several public interest organizations and published an article in Villanova’s Environmental Law Journal, “Something Stinks: The Need for Environmental Regulation of Puppy Mills” 21 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 159 (2010) http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arus21villenvtllj159.htm. After law school, Melissa clerked for the Honorable Thomas G. Parisi, Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division in the Court of Common Pleas, Berks County.