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Limitations of grandparents' rights in Pennsylvania

Family dynamics are evolving. Nowadays, parents are not the only ones who take care of their children. Sometimes, due to certain circumstances, children are left in the care of their relatives, such as grandparents. Here in Scranton, Pennsylvania, many grandparents have built a solid relationship with their grandchildren, which makes it difficult for them to let go of their bond in the event of their children's divorce. The usual visitation on weekends can be cut off in an instant, making it difficult for both grandparents and grandchildren.

Biological grandparents who want to maintain visitation rights to their grandchildren should learn more about Pennsylvania's grandparents' rights in order to determine if they have the right to seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren. Here in Pennsylvania, grandparents may seek legal action if the children had lived with them. The legal action requires proof that there is a parent-child relationship between the grandchildren and the grandparents, meaning that the grandparents often look out for their grandchildren in the absence of the children's parents. For example, if the grandparents had participated in parental duties such as taking their grandchildren to teacher meetings, they can seek custody or visitation rights.

Grandparents may be granted visitation rights if the judge believes that it is in the best interest of the children. Grandparents should therefore understand the laws implemented in the state before filing a legal action in court. They may also speak with their children and arrange a custody or visitation agreement for the benefit of the grandchildren involved, bypassing a court hearing altogether.

When dealing with child custody-related concerns involving grandparents, readers may wish to speak with a legal professional who knows the ins and outs of the legal system. By doing so, they can avoid making costly mistakes that could prevent them from getting custody or visitation rights.

Source: American Grandparents Association, "Do grandparents have the rights they should?," John Bringardner, accessed on Nov. 17, 2014

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