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Grandparent retains guardianship rights

Many people consider the grandparents to be their children's second parents. The law may award grandparents custody and visitation rights to allow the grandparents to continue their relationship with their grandchildren. Guidelines regarding grandparents' rights may vary depending on the state. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there may be a situation where a grandparent might need to exercise these rights.

Grandparents are often given custody in times when both parents are incapable or unfit to raise the child or children. If a parent had passed away and the surviving parent is deemed unfit, the court may award grandparents custody to ensure that the best interests of the child or children are considered.

Residents of Philadelphia might be interested in a case that involves a grandmother in Pennsylvania. Down south, a state Supreme Court denied a father's appeal to gain custody of his eight-year-old daughter.

The mother of the child was declared missing and is suspected to be dead. The authorities stated that the father is regarded as a person of interest in the case because the mother was last seen outside the father's house and her burned vehicle was located nearby.

Since the mother's disappearance, the father and his family have filed to gain custody of his daughter who has been living with her maternal grandmother in Pennsylvania. Earlier hearings upheld a court ruling that the father was deemed unfit to raise the child. Witnesses have stated that the father had a history of drug-related crimes, violence and abuse toward the mother.

The court added that the father's family may have been granted custody if only they were not in denial regarding the father's drug-related activities. Also, the court had clearly proven that the father may bring substantial risk of harm to the child. As a result, he was forbidden to have any type of contact with the child.

In contrast, the Pennsylvania grandmother proved that she can offer a stable home for the child; therefore, she was granted custody.

Source: Times-Gazette, "Supreme Court denies Tyler Mook custody try," Brian Mosely, Feb. 28, 2013

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