Not all children are raised by their parents. In some special circumstances, grandparents step up and take care of the children in the absence of their parents. Many Pennsylvanians are probably aware that grandparents play an important role in the growth and development of their grandchildren. Depending on each unique situation, grandparents may choose to seek visitation rights or custody of their grandchildren.
Just like child custody issues that arise in divorce cases, family law courts will determine if a child is better off living with his or her grandparents. Often, grandparents may find it difficult to seek reasonable partial custody even though they have met the requirements set by family law courts. In cases where the children's parents have died or both parents were deemed unfit to raise the children, grandparents may also seek physical or legal custody of the kids to prevent them from being sent to foster homes.
Additionally, if a child has spent 12 months with his or her grandparents, the child's grandparents have a set time to seek full custody of the child. If children are still considered dependent, or if both parents have history of negligence, incapacity, drug or alcohol abuse, grandparents may also seek to obtain custody of their grandchildren.
Grandparents who believe their grandchildren would be better off under their care may want to exercise their rights and seek the custody of the children. Our law firm understands that grandparents who seek custody rights may go against their son or daughter in court. However, grandparents seeking custody or visitation rights must understand that the ultimate goal is to meet the best interests of the children, and not the parents.
Source: For more information, please visit our Grandparents' Rights page.