Stephanie H. WinegradPartner
Conshohocken Family Law Attorney Stephanie is a partner in the firm’s Family Law practice group, and has more than 25 years of experience in family law matters. As a highly skilled and...Read More by Author
In 2011, the law in Pennsylvania changed as to the rights of grandparents to have custody of the grandchildren. Grandparents have the right to file an action for ANY form of physical or legal of custody if the following conditions are met:
If the above conditions are met, a grandparent has the right to file an action of custody, but whether or not they will be successful depends upon the facts of each case. The courts will consider the best interests of the child before awarding primary custody to a grandparent. In determining whether to give custody to a grandparent over a parent, the courts will favor the parent unless the grandparent can establish that it would be harmful to the child to remain with the parent.
In the alternative, grandparents (and even great-grandparents) have a statutory right to file an action for partial physical custody or visitation where the parent of the child is deceased or where the parent of the child was never married, but has been separated for at least 6 months or where the parent has commenced a divorce proceeding. The court must consider the following factors in determining whether to award partial physical custody to a grandparent:
Regardless of the amount of time a grandparent is seeking, the Courts believe that the best interest of the child should control a decision.