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Attorney for Grandparent Rights in PA

Grandparents have rights in regards to their grandchildren. Asserting those rights allows children to engage in family activities more fully.

Family disputes can be difficult to navigate. When courts become involved, people are often emotional and forget to consider the child’s best interests. It is beneficial to keep as many loved ones as possible in a child’s life. The Pittsburgh custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand that it can be difficult to seek visitation and custody as a grandparent. With considerable experience in various family law issues, including child custody and visitation, attorney Anthony Piccirilli can evaluate whether obtaining rights as a grandparent is possible in your case, and he will guide you through every step that follows.

Call (412) 471-5100 now to see how you can be involved in your grandchild’s life.


Custody and Visitation

Pennsylvania, like many other states, has specific requirements that must be met if a grandparent wishes to obtain custody or be granted visitation. In most cases, a child’s nuclear family must be broken for these rights to be awarded. More specifically, visitation or custody may be granted when:

  • The child has lived with the grandparents for more than 12 months
  • One or both of the child’s parents are deceased
  • The child’s parents are divorced, separated, or have not been together for at least 6 months

Even if one or several of these conditions are met, grandparents must prove that being granted custody or visitation rights would be in the best interests of the child. In addition, the visitation or custody rights of the grandparents must not interfere with any existing child-parent relationship.

Common Considerations

Courts are required to consider the best interests of the child when awarding custody or visitation rights. Even if one or more of the requirements for grandparent rights are met, the law requires that a number of factors be considered before a final decision is made. For example, courts rarely grant visitation or custody rights when the relationship between the parent and the grandparent is stormy. The grandparent’s contempt for their child might be taken out on the grandchild, or the grandparent might attempt to turn the child against the parent. Other factors that are considered when determining custody and visitation rights for grandparents include, but are not limited to:

  • The day-to-day and long-term needs of the child, such as those related to physical, mental, and emotional health
  • Whether or not the parents and grandparents are able to attend to the child’s needs
  • The opinions of the grandparents and parents
  • The wishes of the child and whether or not the child is able to make independent decisions
  • How long the grandparents have been in contact with the grandchild
  • Whether or not evidence of neglect or abuse exists
  • The distance between the residence of the parents and the residence of the grandparents

Contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Today

Trying to seek visitation or custody rights as a grandparent can seem discouraging. You may feel as though the parents are trying to rob you of the chance to be in your grandchild’s life, and courts can approach the issue in a cold and calculating manner.

The Pittsburgh grandparent rights attorneys at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC know all too well that these situations can be tumultuous. If you have already had contact with your grandchild, it can feel like everything you have worked so hard to establish is being dismantled. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli has helped countless people obtain custody and visitation rights.

Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how you can stay connected with those you love.