New Custody Statutes for Grandparent Custody
May 10, 2018


Grandparent CustodyOn May 4, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law, amendments to the custody statute that clarify the situations where grandparents can file proceedings seeking partial custody and expanding the rights of third parties who can file custody proceedings. Prior to the change, grandparents or other third parties had the ability to file for any form of custody under the following circumstances:

If a person stands in loco parentis to the child; OR when the relationship of the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order;  when the person assumes or is willing to assume responsibility for the child; AND when either:

  1.  the child has been determined to be a dependent child under juvenile matters
  2.  the child is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or incapacity
  3. When the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparents or great-grandparents, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and the child has been removed from the home by the parents.

Grandparents also had the ability to file for partial custody or visitation when a parent of the child is deceased; when the parents of the child have been separated for a period of six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage; OR when the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparents or great-grandparents, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and the child has been removed from the home by the parents.

The new law, which goes into effect July 3, 2018, now states individuals can pursue any form of custody if the individual who shows by clear and convincing evidence that they have assumed or is willing to assume responsibility for the child and the individual has a sustained, substantial and sincere interest in the welfare of the child; and neither parent has any form of care and control of the child.

In addition to the above, grandparents can file for custody or supervised custody if the relationship began with the consent of the parents or by court order AND where the parents have commenced a proceeding for custody AND they do not agree as to whether the grandparents should have custody OR when the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparents or great-grandparents, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and the child has been removed from the home by the parents.

To learn more about the changes related to grandparents’ rights in custody, including additional information on the new changes to the law, Daley Zucker is offering a free seminar scheduled to take place on May 17, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.  For additional information or to register for the seminar, please contact Daley Zucker at (717) 724-9821.

For Tina, a successful outcome for a client is more about finding solutions and less about winning in the traditional sense. She understands that in many cases avoiding litigation is a good thing that saves her clients time, money and emotional pain. Her focus is on helping clients navigate the process and selecting the best course of action for their case – Read Full Bio




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