If you are a grandparent in the state of Pennsylvania, you may be wondering about what your legal rights are in regard to visitation and the right to seek custody. You are one of the child's closest relatives, and you may have reason to believe that it is in the best interests of the child that he or she is in your custody.
When a child custody case is taken to the custody court, a decision is made that is viewed to be in the best interests of the child in question. Usually, it is in the best interests of the child when they are able to be in the custody of someone who they have known and bonded with from a very early age. If you have been heavily involved in the child's life since birth and for one reason or another the biological parents are not able to take care of the child, you may be considered as a possible custodian.
Do I have the right to petition for custody as a grandparent?
The Pennsylvania Custody and Grandparents' Visitation Act states that grandparents are within their legal rights to petition for custody in certain circumstances. These circumstances are when the child has cohabited with the grandparent for over a year and then was taken back by a biological parent, when the biological parents have been separated for over 6 months, or when one of the biological parents has passed away.
If you want to file for custody as a Pennsylvania grandparent, it is a good idea to understand the specific terms of the law.