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Can grandparents get custody of their grandkids?

There are many situations in which grandparents in Pennsylvania and other U.S. states may want to seek custody of their grandchildren. In some instances, grandparents may feel concerned that their son or daughter isn’t fit to be a parent. In other situations, grandparents may want to care for their grandchildren whenever a custodial parents passes away unexpectedly.

Even in precarious situations, courts always consider parents’ rights first when determining child custody cases. However, courts may consider granting custody to grandparents if there’s legitimate danger or concern about the child’s well-being at stake.

Certain situations may warrant a change in custody. For example, if a child is being left unattended to for long periods of time, a court may rule that the parent is abandoning the child. If there’s evidence of emotional abuse, the court may require therapy or counseling to determine the level of abuse the child is being subjected to. In cases of physical or sexual abuse, a court may require extensive investigation to prove that harm to the child is being inflicted.

Several other incidents may result in grandparents getting custody of their grandkids, including substance abuse, neglect, etc. In rare cases, some parents may realize their inability to maintain sole custody of their children and agree to grant custody to the grandparents.

In Pennsylvania, grandparents have legal rights to protect their relationships with their grandkids, especially when pre-existing relationships exist. Child custody cases can be complex, and grandparents who are concerned about the well-being of their grandchildren can take steps to sue for custody. An experienced child custody attorney may be able to assist with creating child custody and visitation agreements that protect a child’s best interests.