In every state, Pennsylvania included, grandparents sometimes become replacement parents for their grandchildren when their own children can no longer act as parents. This often happens when their children are in the middle of divorce or are in difficult situations with domestic violence, serious illness or alcohol or drug problems. If the grandchildren's parents decide to divorce, this changes who has custody of the children. In many cases, grandparents are barred from seeing their grandchildren. When this happens, grandparents can seek to have their visitation rights upheld, especially if they have provided care for their grandchildren on a regular basis.
In fact, grandparents should never be deprived of their rights to see their grandchildren. Our law firm has seen too many grandparents who were suddenly barred from visiting their grandkids, depriving both of them, especially if they have had regular contact with one another. The grandparents can usually seek partial custody of the children or a regular visitation schedule, depending on the particulars of each case. Grandparents may also gain primary custody of the grandchildren if the children have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents. In such cases, the grandparents can step up and become guardians in order to prevent their grandchildren from being sent to care or foster homes.
Grandparents' rights are complex. Nowadays, there are many grandparents who are not aware that they can seek custody of their grandchildren under certain special circumstances. Grandparents who are dealing with similar issues may need legal advice to better understand not only what they are dealing with but also their rights.
To learn more about the basics of grandparents' rights and related issues, check our website. It contains valuable information that can help most grandparents make major decisions that will shape their future and relationships with their grandchildren.