Grandparent Visitation and Pittsburgh Families

February 07, 2017 | Child Custody, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Candice Komar Candice Komar

Many people look forward to the time when they become grandparents.  A time to go to parks and museums and spoil their grandchildren without all of the formal responsibilities that come with being a parent.  But what happens when two parents divorce and family stressors get in the way of grandparents being allowed to see their own grandchildren?  Do grandparents have any rights under Pennsylvania law?  If you are a grandparent who is prevented from seeing your grandchildren, it is critical that you speak with an experienced Pittsburgh custody attorney as soon as possible.

Pennsylvania Grandparent Laws

Section 5325 of the Pennsylvania statute concerns the relationship between Pittsburgh grandparents and their grandchildren and provides:

“grandparents and great-grandparents may file an action under this chapter for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody in the following situations:

  • 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 been separated for a period of at least six months or 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.”

A Pittsburgh grandparent is also considered to have standing to seek custody in certain circumstances such as when a grandchild is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse under section 5324 of the statute. Only an experienced custody lawyer can review the specifics of your case and determine how best to proceed in order to protect your rights as well as the best interests of your grandchildren with a request for one of the following:

  • Partial Custody: An award of partial custody allows a grandparent to have unsupervised visits with a grandchild such as an overnight sleepover or weekend visits.
  • Visitation: A visitation award allows a grandparent to visit with their grandchildren but only under the direct supervision of the parent.  Unlike partial custody, a visitation award does not allow a Pittsburgh grandparent to have overnight sleepovers.

The custody attorneys at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC are ready to assist you.
Being a grandparent is a rewarding and loving experience.  Unfortunately, in some families, a grandparent can be prevented from spending time or even seeing their grandchild.  If you are a Pittsburgh grandparent who is not allowed to visit with your grandchildren, it is important to speak to a custody attorney at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, to learn about your rights for visitation or partial custody.  Call today at (412) 471-9000 to speak to one of our lawyers or use our online contact form.

About the Author

Candice L. Komar, founding partner of Pollock Begg, is a strong litigator, trained mediator and collaborative law attorney who often deals with divorces involving closely held businesses, complex issues and high net worth individuals. A fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and recognized by local and national awards programs for her business sense and family law leadership, particularly in collaborative law, Candice is also often tapped by media to discuss hard-hitting custody and divorce cases.

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