Grandparent Visitation Rights in a Pennsylvania Divorce

Generally, the natural parents will have a presumptive right to custody. Only in cases where the parents are found to be unfit, or there are exceptional circumstances, will third parties be granted custody. At any time after a divorce, grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights. Grandparents have the right to petition the court for visitation rights in Pennsylvania.  Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a parent's proposed visitation schedule, unless it denies visitation entirely, is presumptively better than a grandparent's proposed visitation schedule.

Also see AARP Grandparent Information Center.

Grandparent Visitation: 
AARP Grandparent Information Center

Grandparent Rights in the State of Pennsylvania.

A grandparent typically will be granted the right to visitation during and once the divorce is final. If the Grandparent is being denied visitation he or she or both must file an application with the court in the County in which the child resides. At this point in time it is up to the grandparent(s) to prove to the court that visitation with them is in the best interests of the child. The Pennsylvania court s like all states look out for the child above and beyond anything else. When the court makes the decision it will take into consideration the eight factors below:

  • The relationship between the child and the applicant.
  • The relationship between each of the child's parents or person with whom the child is residing and the applicant.
  • The time which has elapsed since the child last had contact with the applicant.
  • The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship between the child the child's parents or the person with whom the child is residing.
  • If the parents are divorced or separated, the time sharing arrangement which exists between the parents with regard to the child.
  • The good faith of the applicant in filing the application.
  • Any history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect by the applicant .

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