Pennsylvania Custody Rights for Grandparents and Great-Grandparents

Often when a child’s parents do not reside together the issue of grandparents’ and great-grandparents Pennsylvania custody rights arises. In Philadelphia custody cases, as in other Pennsylvania Counties, the right of a grandparent or great grandparent to request partial physical custody or supervised physical custody is governed by state law. In order for a grandparent or great-grandparent to have the right to file a petition with the County Court of Common Pleas for custody, one of the following specific situations must exist:

1. The parent of the child is deceased.

2. The parents of the child are separated for at least six months or have filed for divorce.

3. The child has lived with the grandparent or great grandparent for at least twelve continuous months, excluding “brief temporary absences of the parents.” In this case, the action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.

In a custody case filed by a grandparent or great grandparent, the Court will consider the following factors when determining whether to order partial physical custody or supervised physical custody:

1. The amount of personal contact between the child and the grandparent or great-grandparent prior to the filing of the action.
2. Whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
3. Whether the award is in the best interest of the child.

If you or a loved one has an issue concerning custody of a grandchild or great-grandchild it is important that you consult with an experienced child custody attorney in the County where you live. Our child custody attorneys have offices conveniently located to Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. Please call us today at 215-545-0008 to schedule your free consultation with one of our lawyers.

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