Most Americans, including Pennsylvanians, believe children are ideally raised by their biological parents. This does not happen with every child, and some are raised by other family members such as grandparents. Frequently, though, even grandparents are left out of the picture when parents separate or divorce. The bonds between grandchildren and grandparents are thus severed, leaving biological grandparents with no easy connection with their own grandchildren, especially when the grandchildren are moved out of the area or state.
Our law firm has seen many cases of grandparents who suddenly found themselves cut off from their grandchildren. In such cases, we often tell grandparents that family law statutes in Pennsylvania provide them with rights they can use to seek such arrangements as reasonable partial custody if it is in the best interests of the children. These grandparents' rights allow them to remain active in their grandchildren's lives.
Before courts will give grandparents custody or visitation rights, they must first determine if the child will benefit from this type of arrangement. Usually, grandparents must prove in court that they genuinely love and support their grandchildren and are capable of caring for them.
Grandparents' rights can also be asserted in cases where biological parents are unfit to raise their children. This is often seen when biological parents have histories of neglect, abuse or drug or alcohol addiction that makes them incapable of providing proper care. In these cases, grandparents can step in and seek the custody of their grandchildren to ensure they will be raised in a nurturing environment.
Grandparents who have questions about their rights should not be afraid to seek advice from legal professionals. They can also read articles online or visit our website for more information. They can also speak with one of our legal professionals to assess their cases.