Visitation or Custody for Grandparents
Grandparents' Rights Lawyer in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Grandparents have no inherent rights under Pennsylvania law to spend time with their grandchildren. However, most courts will allow regular access to grandparents who have an established relationship with the child.
Cantor & Meyer, P.C. represents grandparents who are seeking visitation, as well as grandparents who have served as the de facto parents and wish to establish formal legal custody. Based in Media, Pennsylvania, our family law practice serves clients in Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Call 484-441-6413 for a free phone consultation.
Grandparents' Rights to Visitation
When an adult child divorces or passes away, grandparents and step-grandparents often find themselves on the outside, prevented from seeing their grandchildren. Though grandparents do not always have automatic standing, they may petition the family court for visitation rights. The court considers the amount and nature of previous contact, and the impact on children of no longer having grandparents in their life in determining these cases. Donna Cantor prepares arguments to convince the judge to determine whether regular contact or scheduled visits should or should not take place.
Grandparent Petitions for Custody
Grandparents can seek legal custody if they have served in loco parentis (in the role of parents) for 12 continuous months. Common scenarios include a child abandoned by a parent, or parents who are in and out of the child's life because of drug use, incarceration, or intervention by a child welfare agency on the basis of physical or sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment.
There are two paths to child custody for grandparents (or other immediate family members):
- The grandparents already have possession of the child because of placement by a child welfare agency. The court can terminate parental rights and grant custody to grandparents if the natural parents are absent or are deemed unfit through formal evaluations.
- Grandparents can file for custody through family court, demonstrating that they have been the primary caregivers and that the child's parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child. (This does not involve termination of rights — parents can later seek reunification.)
If desired, Donna Cantor can also represent clients in grandparent adoption proceedings after custody is established.
Ms. Cantor has practiced for over 20 years and has extensive experience in, child custody, adoption and all family law matters. For more information, contact Cantor & Meyer, P.C. at 484-441-6413. Our attorneys offer a free phone consultation, and can arrange after-hours or weekend appointments.
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