In life, unforeseen circumstances sometimes require grandparents to step in and assume a parenting role for their grandchildren. In Pennsylvania, specific legal statutes allow for this to happen.
Consider what circumstances may allow a Pennsylvanian grandparent to seek custody of their grandchildren.
Recognizing a need for intervention
Grandparents should consider seeking custody when the welfare of their grandchildren is at risk. Pennsylvania law allows grandparents to file for custody if they believe there is danger to a child’s physical, mental or emotional health.
The state also considers the presence of abuse, neglect or parental drug addiction as grounds for grandparents to file for custody. If the child’s parents cannot provide a stable, nurturing environment, you may have a strong case for taking custody.
The child’s best interest
Always remember, in all custody cases, the court’s primary concern is the child’s best interest. You must show that taking custody of your grandchildren serves their best interest better than their current living situation.
This involves demonstrating a sustained, loving relationship between you and the child and your ability to provide a stable environment. If the child has lived with you for at least 12 months, Pennsylvania law may consider this evidence of a sustained, loving relationship.
The complicated journey to custody
Seeking custody of your grandchildren can be a complex and emotionally draining process. While Pennsylvania law permits grandparents to seek custody, the process can involve many steps such as the following:
- Gather evidence
- File the correct paperwork
- Prepare for a court hearing
Although it may feel complicated and take time, remember that each step you take is in the service of providing your grandchildren with a safe, stable and loving environment.
Pennsylvania law permits grandparents to seek custody of their grandchildren in cases where their safety or well-being is at risk. While it may be a challenging journey, it can be a necessary one to ensure the best possible future for your grandchildren.