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The basics of custody for grandparents in Pennsylvania

A growing number of grandparents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are becoming more involved in raising their grandchildren. In many cases, children spend their vacations with their grandparents or visit their grandparents whenever they have time to do so. This can suddenly change when the children's parents separate or divorce. The grandparents' ties to their grandchildren may be abruptly cut off in such cases, leaving them with no option but to find a way to maintain their relationship with their grandchildren.

Grandparents who have a solid bond with their grandchildren may in some cases be able to seek visitation rights. In certain instances, they may also seek full legal and physical custody of grandchildren. When grandparents file a petition for custody, courts will consider several factors such as the best interests of the child. Grandparents may in some situations seek the custody of their grandchildren when the parents of the children have history of domestic violence, neglect or are serving prison time. This can be done to avoid the grandchildren from being sent to foster homes. Second, grandparents must also prove in court that they can provide care and support to their grandchildren before the court will award custody.

Laws are subject to change from time to time. Grandparents should stay updated when it comes to grandparents' rights so they can understand the extent of their privileges. They may read articles online or they may speak with knowledgeable professionals who are adept in Pennsylvania family law.

Grandparents who are seeking custody or visitation of grandchildren should not be afraid to ask regarding legal procedures. They may choose to speak with a family law attorney in the Philadelphia area.

Source: Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, "Grandparents' rights in Pennsylvania," Accessed Dec. 25, 2014

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