Many Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, readers are thankful of their grandparents who molded them into who they are today. Some readers may still recall their weekend visits to their grandparents, or the times spent together on vacations and holidays. Nowadays though, often due to divorce or special circumstances, grandparents are becoming second parents to many grandchildren. In such cases, grandparents' rights must be exercised to ensure that the grandchildren are properly taken care of.
Grandparents are eligible for both physical and supervised physical custody. They can file and request the custody of their grandchildren in the event of divorce, when the parents have separated, or when their child has passed away. It is important to note that the children's parents should at least been separated for more than six months before the grandparents can request or file for custody. Courts will determine if the request for custody is in the best interests of the children. The courts will also need to determine if the grandparents' have significant attachment to the grandchildren or if they can contribute to the growth and development of their grandchildren.
Grandparents need to understand that once they have been granted with the custody of their grandchildren, the parents can still request modification of the existing child custody arrangement. If the parent has a history of abuse or neglect, it is best for the grandparents to adopt their grandchildren to prevent the unfit parent from having the custody of their kids.
When it comes to grandparents' rights such as custody or visitation, it is important for grandparents to review their options first before filing a legal action. They may wish to consult a family law attorney who has extensive legal knowledge of such issues.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Summaries of State Law: Grandparent Visitation and Custody," Accessed on Oct. 16, 2014