We believe in laws for grandparents, too.
Unfortunately, when a relationship ends and there are children involved, it sometimes means that the grandparents are also affected. Although this is unfair both to the children who love their grandparents and to the grandparents who love their grandchildren, it is often a price paid in the separation. 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. Our attorneys are active in helping grandparents resolve these issues, even in cases of interstate custody battles. Generally speaking, the laws in Pennsylvania look out for the best interests of the children.
Under Pennsylvania’s newly revised Child Custody Law that was enacted in January of 2011, the Courts now weigh the following factors when making determinations of what is in the “Best Interests of the Children”:
(1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing
contact between the child and another party.
(2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party’s
household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused
party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and
supervision of the child.
(3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
(4) The need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and
(5) The availability of extended family.
(6) The child’s sibling relationships.
(7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child’s maturity and
(8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in
cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to
protect the child from harm.
(9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and
nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child’s emotional needs.
(10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional,
developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
(11) The proximity of the residences of the parties.
(12) Each party’s availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate
(13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of
the parties to cooperate with one another. A party’s effort to protect a child from
abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate
with that party.
(14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party’s
(15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party’s
(16) Any other relevant factor.
Under the newly enacted Custody Law, any determination is a gender neutral determination.
If a grandparent or great-grandparent asserts a claim for custody of a child, the newly enacted Custody statute looks to these additional factors:
(1) the amount of personal contact between the child and the party prior to
the filing of the action;
(2) whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
(3) whether the award is in the best interest of the child.
Additionally, the court when deciding whether a grandparent or great-grandparent is awarded partial physical custody or supervised physical custody, these factors are also considered:
(i) interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
(ii) is in the best interest of the child.
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 right Custodial arrangement that truly is “Best.”
Other grandparent issues include custody given when both 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.
Get quality legal representation for grandparent’s custody cases. Contact us for all family law needs.
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