In most cases, it is ideal to have a Pennsylvania child raised by both of their parents in a loving and nurturing environment. Unfortunately, this is not always realistic, or even possible. Parents may divorce or pass away, making it difficult or impossible for their biological parents to raise them. When divorce or death occurs too, the effects can be far-reaching, sometimes, resulting in the child being cutoff from their grandparents. In such situations, grandparents may be wondering what rights they have.
What it comes to grandparents' rights, many of the laws involved are state specific. This means that laws that may apply to Pennsylvanians do not necessarily apply to citizens of other states.
In Pennsylvania, grandparents' rights involving visitation may be granted if at least one of the parents is deceased. They may also be granted if the parents are divorced or if they have been separated for more than six months. If the child has lived with a grandparent for more than 12 months too, than the court may choose to grant visitation.
As with any determination involving children, the court will look to the best interest of the child when making a decision. If there is any potential interference with the relationship between the parent and the child, the court will also consider this. The contact between the grandparent and the child will also be considered. Lastly, if the child is put up for adoption, the grandparents will not have visitation rights.
Visitation rights can be complicated. Understandably, grandparents may wish to know more about their rights before proceeding with any legal action. Attorneys are available to help assist grandparents with such a determination.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Summaries of State Law: Grandparent Visitation and Custody," accessed on Jan. 18, 2016