In an ideal world, no family would ever split up, and children wouldn’t have to be assigned custody to one or the other parent as part of the divorce process. But even in this situation, there are sometimes very troubling circumstances where neither parent is actually a suitable guardian for a child or children. What happens in situations where an evaluation shows that both parents are unsuitable guardians for looking after the welfare of a child?

In Pennsylvania, there is another option. Grandparents can take custody of the child.

Visitation & Full Responsibility

In most typical cases, the legal power of grandparents extends to securing visitation rights in court. This meansthat if children are awarded custody to a particular parent, but that parent denies grandparents the rights to see and interact with their grandchild, the court can actually step in and force the issue. Grandparents can exercise their legal right to visit with grandchildren, thanks to Pennsylvania’s Grandparent Visitation Act.

However, there may be more unfortunate, more extreme cases, where it is clear that neither parent is actually suitable for looking out for the best interests of a child or children. There are a few conditions that grandparents need to meet in order to qualify for this more comprehensive form of custody.

The grandparents must have genuine care and concern for the child.

The grandparents have already had an established relationship with the child that occurred, at the time, with the consent of at least one of the parents.

The grandparents must have acted in a parental role for the child for one year or more.

If you are grandparents that are concerned about the welfare of your grandchild and would like more information about custody laws, come see us at Zitomer Law. We are very experienced in all forms of custody procedure including enforcing grandparents’ rights.