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Grandparent Custody Rights in Pennsylvania

 

Grandparents welcoming grandchildrenIn Pennsylvania, grandparents and great-grandparents have physical custody rights surrounding their grandchildren.  In rare circumstances, grandparents can request and win primary physical custody of their grandchildren.  This is not common, but if the grandparent can overcome any objections toward “standing,” which in a custody setting permits the grandparent to act as a party in the custody action and file a viable custody complaint against the parent/s, it may be granted.  In order to request primary physical custody, a grandparent must demonstrate (1) that the grandparent/grandchild relationship began with the consent of a parent or as a result of a court order, (2) that the grandparent is willing to assume responsibility for the grandchild; and (3) the grandchild has been declared dependent by the court, or, the grandchild is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or incapacity, or, the grandchild has resided with the grandparent for a period of at least 12 consecutive months before the grandchild was removed from the grandparent’s care by the parent. (Continue reading).