Many people are unaware that when a divorce happens and there are children of the marriage, grandparents may petition the court for visiting rights or even custody of their grandchildren. Even if a divorce does not occur, a grandparent may still petition the courts for visitation of the grandchildren. Under the Pennsylvania Custody and Grandparents’ Visitation Act, grandparents may petition a court for partial custody and visitation under specific circumstances:
- Upon the death of a birth parent.
- When parents are divorced or have been separated for six months or more and a divorce has been filed.
- When a child has resided with a grandparent for 12 months or more, followed by the child being removed by a parent.
In each of the above instances, a court will try to determine what situation will best suit the child and what will best serve the child for his or her future. Many factors are considered and these are just a few:
- The child’s emotional and physical well-being
- The prior relationship of the grandparents and the child
- Depending on the age of the child, the child’s choice may be taken into consideration
- And always the potential impact on a child’s social and intellectual growth (schooling and extracurricular activities).
A grandparent must show that they have made enough of an effort to try to have a relationship with the grandchild. Have you sent the child birthday cards or gifts? Have you written them letters? You can call them and try to let me know that you love them.
If you are a grandparent and want to obtain visitation of your grandchildren, please reach out to Rick Stock Law. One of our professional attorneys can talk to you about your obtains.