Family structures have changed dramatically in recent years. In fact, only 3 out of 10 children live in traditional families with two parents in their first or only marriage. More children than ever before live in single-parent households, step-parent families, foster families, and are raised by grandparents. These changing family structures have greatly impacted child visitation options. As grandparents play an increasing role in the lives of their grandchildren, many incorrectly believe they are entitled to certain visitation rights. However, this is not always the case.

If a decision is made by both parents to deny grandparent visitation rights, the court is generally inclined to honor their wishes. However, there are some particular circumstances when grandparents can request visitation. Pennsylvania law states that, in addition to situations set forth in section 5324 (relating to standing for any form of physical custody or legal custody), grandparents and great-grandparents may file an action under this chapter for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody in the following situations:

(1) where the parent of the child is deceased, a parent or grandparent of the deceased parent may file an action under this section;

(2) where the parents have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage; or

(3) when the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, an action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.

Grandparents rights are a rapidly changing and sometimes unclear area of the law.

With over two (2) decades of divorce litigation experience in prosecuting and defending divorce, custody and support cases in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Bucks County Pennsylvania, McIntosh Lawyers, PC is poised to your interest in your grandparent visitation matter.

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