Most Reading grandparents look forward to being part of their grandchildren’s lives. Most visits take place with the consent of the parents. But when a child’s parents split up, that can cause some serious legal complications for the grandparent-grandchild relationship. If you’re a Pennsylvania grandparent who is seeking the right to visit your grandchild, you may need an attorney to help you.
Under Pennsylvania law, you can pursue visitation rights for your grandchild (also called partial custody) in court if the child’s nuclear family has already been fractured. In particular, you as a grandparent can file for partial custody of the child when any of the following occurs:
- The grandchild’s parents have filed for divorce or separation or have been separated for six months or longer
- One or both of the grandchild’s parents have died
- The grandchild has lived in your household for at least a year
Relationship is key
Pennsylvania courts typically try to make decisions with the best interests of the children in mind. So, it’s vital to note that even if one or more of the previous factors apply to your circumstances, you must also show the court that your relationship with the grandchild is good for the child. You must demonstrate that getting visitation really is in their best interest and won’t get in the way of the parent-child relationship. The best way to do this is to have an existing relationship with your grandchild that is undeniably positive. You will also need evidence and witnesses to back up your claims.
On the other hand, if the court thinks your visitation would be potentially harmful to the child, then it would be unlikely for you to be awarded rights to visit or share partial custody.
Helping fight on your behalf
These cases tend to have lots of moving parts that make them complex. Having an experienced Reading attorney who is skilled in family law can help you get the fairest treatment possible under the law and, hopefully, more time with your grandchildren.