In the past, many states did not recognize the need to give grandparents visitation rights to see their grandchildren. Visitation rights were only awarded to a child's parents. As society evolved, however, many states, including Pennsylvania, began to recognize the contribution of grandparents to the family. In addition, many grandparents help their children raise their grandchildren, and in some cases, they take care of their grandchildren during a family crisis such as a divorce. thereby establishing a grandparent's importance in a child's life. As a result, laws have been enacted giving recognizing grandparents' rights enacted visitation with their grandchildren.
Pennsylvania grandparents should understand the different provisions that identify their legal rights to visit and have access to their grandchildren. Pennsylvania's grandparent visitation law requires the court to consider different factors when awarding visitation. As in parental visitation cases, the paramount consideration is always the best interests of the child. Other factors include previous contact between the grandparents and the grandchild and whether the grandparents are likely to interfere with the relationship between the parents and the child.
Grandparents in Pennsylvania can be granted visitation rights when one of the child's parents has died. If the child's parents divorce or separate, the court may award visitation to the grandparents if the divorce or separation has lasted more than six months, or if the grandchild lived with the grandparents for over a year. Grandparents whose son or daughter is divorced may want to consult an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney to learn more about their visitation rights.
Source: Grandparents.com, "Grandparent Rights: State by State" accessed on Feb. 24, 2015