Grandparents’ Rights Cases Require An Experienced Lawyer
While Pennsylvania family law primarily looks to share legal and physical custody between the parents of the children, there are situations where grandparents are successfully able to secure either partial custody or visitation rights. In certain circumstances, Grandparents can successfully petition for custody of a minor child. The most common form would be occasional partial physical custody for the purpose of remaining a presence in the life of the child but, in more difficult cases where there is abuse, neglect, or an inability to care for the child, the grandparent can be granted significant physical and legal custody.
These cases can be complicated and, so it is best to work with an experienced family law attorney. I am attorney Trudy A. Marietta Mintz and you can rely on my years of experience and dedication to my clients.
Traditional Grandparents’ Rights
The most commonly granted rights for grandparents happen:
- When parent is deceased
- When there is a separation or divorce and the parents do not agree on whether the child should have contact with the grandparent
- When grandparents have cared for the child for one year or more and then the parent wants to take the child back
Like most family law concerns, the primary focus of custody determinations in Pennsylvania is the best interest of the child. Beyond the criteria listed above, the grandparent must demonstrate that granting their petition for custody to the degree requestedserves the best interest of the child. Additionally, presuming that there is a healthy parent-child relationship, the involvement of the grandparents cannot unduly interfere with the parents.
Sadly, there are times when an adult child is unable to care for their own children and the grandparent must step in to act as a parent to their grandchild. Each of these situations come with their own set of challenges but the law does provide for a grandparent to petition for legal and physical custody of a child who is not being cared for properly. I am here to provide assistance in this very sensitive situation. Please contact me for a consultation.
New Legislation For Third Parties To Help When Parents Are Unfit
In addition to traditional grandparents’ rights cases, there are also times when a grandparent or an unrelated third party may need to step in for the best interest and protection of the child. Recent legislation has made this possible. These cases may involve challenging issues such as:
- Substance abuse / drug addiction
- Criminal activity / jail / prison
- Mental illness
- Child abuse / domestic abuse
I understand that these issues can be extremely difficult to confront or document but it also takes much more than an accusation that a parent is unfit for the court to look for alternative custody arrangements. If you have questions about how to take the first step in protecting a child that you feel may be neglected or in danger, I can help.
Contact A Harrisburg Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer Today
I provide a free initial telephone consultation to allow potential clients to meet me and tell me about their circumstances. Please contact me via email or telephone to arrange to your meeting. I look forward to speaking with you.