Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC
Free Initial Consultation215-392-0863
  1. Home
  2. Blog

Constitutional considerations could affect grandparents' rights


Not too long ago, we described the criteria that Pennsylvania courts use to determine grandparents' rights to custody of their grandchildren. Philadelphia County grandparents may wonder if there are other legal considerations that could impact their rights with respect to their grandchildren. There is a U.S. Supreme Court case that dealt with the relationship between grandparents' rights and parents' rights. This blog post will give a 10,000 foot view of this Supreme Court decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court usually does not wade into issues of state family law. It may do so, however, if there appear to be important constitutional rights at stake. This was the case back in 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court heard a grandparents' rights case from Washington state. In past decisions, the Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental right to make certain decisions regarding the care, custody and control of their children.

The Supreme Court ruled that a state law infringed on parents' fundamental rights regarding the upbringing of their children. The state law allowed courts to award visitation rights to anyone, including grandparents, if it was deemed to be in the best interests of the child. The court said this was too broad because it could override the will of parents who were competent to make these kinds of decisions themselves.

The law in question was much broader than Pennsylvania's current grandparents' rights law, so Keystone State grandparents probably don't have to worry about their visitation arrangements being struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Still, it goes to show why this is such a complex area of law and why having legal assistance can be such a good idea.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Start Your Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Philadelphia Office
1500 JFK Blvd, Suite 1020
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 866-201-1112
Phone: 215-392-0863
Philadelphia Law Office Map

Montgomery County Office
25 West Airy Street, Suite 200
Norristown, PA 19401

Toll Free: 866-201-1112
Phone: 610-239-1000
Norristown Law Office Map

Radnor Office
150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-200
Radnor, PA 19087

Toll Free: 866-201-1112
Phone: 215-392-0863
Radnor Law Office Map