If you are a grandparent, you likely want to spend as much time as possible with your grandchildren. Time is precious, and young lives change quickly. Establishing a strong bond with a young child is a precious thing that can’t be created or replicated later in life.
At The Law Offices of Joseph A. Guillama, we appreciate the special place grandparents have in the lives of children. When grandparents are denied access to their grandchildren, we help them protect their rights and enable them to participate in their grandchildren’s lives.
I’m Not The Parent. Do I Have Custody Rights?
Pennsylvania law provides grandparents with some options to see their grandchildren and, in some cases, gain custody of them. Custody means more than being able to visit a child. It means having legal rights to make decisions about and for the child’s living arrangements and welfare, usually in concert with the parent who has primary custody.
Custody options include:
- Partial physical custody
- Supervised physical custody
- Sole legal and physical custody
- Adoption, in certain circumstances
Whether a grandparent can gain custody of grandchildren is subject to certain legal tests. Among them, a judge must believe that granting custody is in the best interest of the child. In certain cases, partial or full custody can be granted, such as when a parent has died, is incapacitated due to illness or chemical dependency, or has abused or neglected his or her child. It can also be arranged by agreement with the parent or parents.
For nearly 15 years, our experienced Reading grandparents’ rights lawyer has represented clients in family court actions, including those concerning grandparent custody. For many years, he has also advocated for children in Berks County juvenile courts.
Although the circumstances in custody are highly individual and depend on many factors, Attorney Guillama can help you explore your options for obtaining custody of your grandchild. In all cases, he will provide you with a realistic assessment of your situation and opportunities for success.
What If I Don’t Want My Kids To See Their Grandparents?
Parents have a constitutional right to raise their children as they see fit, provided the children are not being neglected, abused or put in harm’s way. Parents also have the right to allow their children to spend time with who the parents approve of and do not approve of. In some situations, a parent might not want his or her child to spend time with a grandparent for perfectly legitimate reasons – these reasons can include situations where the grandparent talks badly about the parent to the child; has alcohol and/or drug problems; or simply is incapable of providing reliable and trustworthy supervision of a child.
Joe Guillama has represented many parents who find themselves in situations involving a grandparent who wishes to intervene in the parent-child relationship. If you are a parent and find yourself in a situation like this, Joe can provide you with good, sound advice on how to best handle this situation.
What About Fathers’ Rights?
Our law firm also protects the rights of fathers and close relatives to participate in the lives of their children. If you have questions about your custody and visitation rights, and how you can use them, contact The Law Offices of Joseph A. Guillama online or by calling at 610-295-5335. We can discuss your circumstances and options in a free and confidential consultation.
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