Do Grandparents have the right to file for custody of their grandchildren in Pennsylvania? This is an area that has undergone much change over the past few years. The most recent changes were enacted on July 4, 2018. Currently, grandparents have the right to sue or custody of his or her grandchild under the following circumstances:
1. The grandparent has been acting “in loco parentis” to the child. This means that the grandparent has assumed the primary caretaking role for the grandchild. This typically means that the grandparent has taken on the role that normally would be assumed the child’s parents but the parents are not assuming this role on behalf of the child.
2. The relationship with the grandchild began with the consent of a parent of the grandchild or by court order; the grandparent is assuming or is willing to assume responsibility for the child AND at least one of the following conditions is true:
- The grandchild is determined to be dependent (perhaps due to parental abandonment; parental neglect, etc.)
- The grandchild is “at risk” due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse, or because the parents are medically, physically or intellectually unable to provide proper care of the child
- The grandchild has resided with the grandparents for at least 12 consecutive months and the parents removed the child from the grandparents’ home and the grandparents file for custody within 6 months of the child being removed from the home
3. The parents of the child have passed away
4. The relationship with the grandchild began with the consent of a parent of the grandchild or a court order AND
- The parents of the child have filed a custody action with the court
- The parents of the child do not agree as to whether the grandparents should have custody of the grandchild
At Tanner Law Offices, LLC, you will find us knowledgeable about local courts and the grandparent custody process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your grandparent custody matter.