Grandparent Custody Rights in Pennsylvania: Custody vs. Adoption

Where Have All the Good Parents Gone?

With the number of responsible parents seemingly shrinking all the time, grandparents are increasingly shouldering the burden of raising children in our society. Fortunately, in 2011 the Pennsylvania custody law changed to allow grandparents to pursue legal custody rights of their grandchildren. Pennsylvania grandparents now have standing to bring a custody action.

When can a Grandparent Pursue Custody Rights?

The custody law now permits grandparents to pursue majority custody rights any time their grandchild is at risk due to neglect, physical abuse, or drug or alcohol abuse and/or if the grandchild has been with the grandparent or grandparents for at least 12 months. In addition, grandparents have the right to bring a legal action for visitation or partial physical custody any time the parents have been separated for at least six months or the parents have filed a divorce action or one of the parents is deceased.

At Trinity Law, our Pennsylvania family lawyers help many grandparents secure and increase custody rights of their grandchildren. Many grandparents come to Trinity’s lawyers seeking counsel concerning grandchildren that are already living with them. They often have trouble enrolling the children in school or with obtaining medical treatment, etc. A grandparents’ custody action is often what is needed.

Custody vs. Adoption

After consulting with our lawyers, sometimes the best solution is actually adoption. This involves a different legal process but may be just what the grandparents (and their grandchildren) need. For example, sometimes there are situations where both parents are incarcerated or have drug and alcohol addictions and are simply not in the children’s lives at all. In those situations, and particularly if it looks like that situation is going to continue for quite awhile, grandparents should consider adoption.

Receive Support for Your Custody Case

For help with a grandparents’ custody or adoption cases in York County, Lancaster County, Adams County, Dauphin County, or Cumberland County, contact the custody and adoption lawyers at Trinity Law today.