Not every family is traditional in Pennsylvania and due to many factors, children do not always live with their parents. Many times, grandparents take on a special role in which they need to step in and be the parent to their grandchildren. But are there legal protections for grandparents in Pennsylvania?
Grandparents have a few options when it comes to gaining custody of their grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
Partial custody is what most grandparents in Pennsylvania seek out. Grandparents who are awarded partial custody have the right to spend time with their grandchildren away from the parental home without being supervised. This may also include overnight visits. The court will decide whether to grant the grandparents partial custody if it is in the best interest of the child. Grandparents are awarded partial custody in the following circumstances:
- The child has been separated from their parents for at least 6 months
- The parent of the child is deceased
- Child has been living with the grandparent for at least a year and then was taken away by the parent.
Grandparents also have the right to seek out full custody of their grandchildren. The child would then live with the grandparent and the grandparent would have the right to make life decisions regarding the child. Grandparents can seek full custody of the child if he has lived with them for at least a year and there is a substantial risk to the child if he returns to his parents.
Contact a family law attorney
An attorney who specializes in family law can help a person understand their child custody rights. They can help a grandparent obtain custody rights for their grandchildren and make sure the children’s best interests are being protected.