To make an appointment with a Pittsburgh Grandparent's Custody Rights Lawyer, please call (412) 540-2400. You can also fill out this contact form, and one of our attorneys will contact you shortly
Pittsburgh Grandparent's Rights Attorneys
In Pennsylvania, grandparents may petition the court for custody of their grandchildren in certain circumstances. To do so, you must have standing. The type of custody being sought, whether it is partial custody and visitation or physical and legal custody, affects the requirements for standing.
Pennsylvania Grandparent's Rights Law
Standing for grandparents seeking partial custody and visitation with their grandchildren and grandparents seeking physical and legal custody is covered by 23 Pa. C.S.A. § 5324 and 23 Pa. C.S.A. § 5325.
Under Section 5324, a grandparent would have standing if:
(i) their relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order;
(ii) the grandparent assumes or is willing to assume responsibility for the child; and
(iii) when one of the following conditions is met:
(A) the child has been determined to be a dependent child under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters);
(B) the child is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or incapacity; or
(C) the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, in which case the action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.
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 section 5325 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 of the child 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.
Standing used to be automatically given to grandparents in instances where the parents "have been separated for a period of at least six months, but the case of D.P. and B.P. v. G.J.P. and A.P., which was decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on September 9, 2016, held that it is unconstitutional for standing to be automatically conferred to grandparents in this instance. The constitutionality of the remainder of Section 5325 was not addressed by this case.
To make an appointment with one of our Pittsburgh Grandparent's Rights Lawyers, please call us at (412) 540-2400 or contact us online.
Law Office of Allison Gaffen
401 Wood Street, Suite 414
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 540-2400
Fax: (412) 540-3355