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Grandparents' right hinge on the children's best interests

Grandparents may want visitation rights after a couple including one of their children gets divorced. They hope that their grandchildren will still be a big part of their lives, and they don't want to lose that connection.

In Pennsylvania, grandparents can get legal visitation rights which are granted by the court. This ensures that they're allowed to see the children, even if they don't get along with one or both of the parents.

It is worth noting that the parents must have been separated or divorced for at least six months before these rights will be granted.

The key to the whole thing is whether or not the court thinks it will be in the children's best interests to be involved with the grandparents. The fact that they're ending up in court in the first place suggests that there is significant strain on some of the relationships involved, perhaps between parents and grandparents.

One of the biggest things that the court looks for is interference in the relationship between the child and the parent. If it is believed that the grandparents will not interfere or negatively impact that relationship, visitation rights are more likely to be granted. The court wants to see that it's a healthy relationship that will help the children grow and develop, not a potentially stressful situation that is just going to add to the strain already created by the divorce itself.

If you're a grandparent hoping to get more time with the grandchildren, keep the court's views in mind. Knowing what end goals the court has can help you as you work to assert your own legal rights.

Source: American Grandparents Association, "Grandparent Rights: State by State," accessed Jan. 22, 2018

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