Chester County Grandparents' Rights Lawyers
Legal Guidance for Grandparents Seeking Visitation in Chester County
Following your child’s divorce, you may wonder where you stand in your grandchild’s life. Oftentimes, grandparents assume that they are a mainstay in a child’s life, however, that is not always the case. It is not uncommon for a divorce to turn relationships sour or for one parent to receive sole custody and effectively cut the child off from the grandparent. However, Pennsylvania does acknowledge that grandparents can have a positive influence on a child’s life and do have certain rights to visitation.
If you need assistance seeking visitation with your grandchild, reach out to the Chester County grandparents’ rights attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. We have more than 25 years of experience with providing legal representation to residents of Chester County and thoroughly understand the intricacies of Pennsylvania family courts. To learn how we can help you in your case, call us at (610) 645-0100.
Pursuing Visitation as a Grandparent
During a custody case, the focus is often on the rights of the individual parents as they work through the complexities of their divorce and work with the courts to determine how their time with their child is divided up. Grandparents are often not accounted for in these proceedings, but that does not mean they do not have rights.
As a grandparent, you may have a massive impact on your grandchild’s development. It is not uncommon for grandparents to act as sole providers when one or both parents are ill or otherwise indisposed. This can be for a short period of time or for years, and you may effectively act as a de facto parent. Chester County courts acknowledge these cases and can grant a grandparent visitation time with their grandchild if you build a strong case.
However, the courts will not automatically grant you visitation rights after your child’s divorce, and you will need to petition the courts to ensure your rights are enforced. When evaluating a grandparent’s visitation rights, the courts will consider:
- What are the best interests of the child?
- How close are you with the child?
- What is the history of your relationship?
- Whether or not there are any conflicts between you and the child’s parents
- Will granting you visitation disrupt the child’s life or the child’s relationship with their parents?
In some instances, visitation is not the only option available to a grandparent, and you may be able to pursue custody.
Grandparent Custody Cases
As mentioned earlier, grandparents often act as the primary caretakers of a grandchild, providing for the physical, emotional, education, and financial wellbeing of a child. These situations are often referred to as “de facto parenting,” where a non-parent or guardian acts as the representative of a parent in a child’s upbringing. This, however, can also transition into custody under certain circumstances.
A Chester County court may grant a grandparent partial or full custody if:
- Both parents are deceased
- One parent is deceased, and the other has been denied parenting rights or given up their rights
- Your grandchild was in your physical custody for 12 months or longer
Like traditional custody cases, the courts will look at your relationship with your grandchild and determine if you are the right individual to provide for them. They will evaluate the child’s emotional and physical wellbeing to determine if it is in their best interests and, if they believe you are fit to raise the child, grant you custody. But these cases can be complicated if one or both parents dispute the ruling, and you will want to have a skilled attorney at your side to discuss all of your options.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., our legal team takes matters related to visitation very seriously. We understand just how important it is that you get to spend time with your grandchild and watch them grow up. When you bring your case to us, our lead Chester County family law attorney can thoroughly explain to you your rights, answer your questions, discuss any misgivings you may have about the courts, and prepare a case strategy with you. We will keep you up to date about your case and effectively communicate your desires to the court. Call us at (610) 645-0100 to get started on your case.