Successfully representing grandparents in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton & the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Our Grandparent’s Rights Attorneys have successfully represented Grandparents in custody cases in Northampton County and Lehigh County. Our Easton Child Custody Lawyers were the first to successfully sue Northampton County Children & Youth Services (CYS) to obtain custody on behalf of Grandparents.
Our Family Law Attorneys understand that every family is unique, and every child is precious. Grandparents who are actively present in their grandchildren’s lives know this better than anyone. Sometimes Grandparents are forced to get involved during a divorce. Other times grandchildren may even live with a grandparent for various reasons. For example, sometimes a grandparent takes over when the child’s parent must be absent for a reason beyond their control, such as illness, military deployment, incarceration, or death. In other families, a temporary babysitting arrangement may have grown into full-time residence.
In some cases parents may welcome a grandparent’s custody request and in other cases grandparents may be forced to take legal action to obtain custody or visitation with their grandchildren.
When one of the grandchild’s parents have died, the parents of the deceased parent may petition the custody court for visitation or partial custody of the grandchild.
If the parents of the child were 1) married at some point and now divorced or divorcing, 2) now or previously litigated custody, 3) do not agree as to the rights of the Grandparent, and 4) Grandparents’ involvement originally began with the consents of both parents, Grandparents may sue for visitation or partial custody in Family Court.
Northampton County Children & Youth Services had taken custody of our client’s grandchildren and refused to release the children to her. In a first of its kind case, we sued Northampton County Children and youth and obtained sole custody for our client
Client, through a devastating accident, emotional poisoning of her son by paternal grandparents and the poor representation by previous attorneys, had lost all custody rights to her child. After a week long trial, client was awarded sole custody of her son after years with barely any contact.
Client, a service member, sought custody of his son and daughter after having only summer visitations. After a week long trial, Client was granted primary custody of his son and leave to relocate to Germany per his military service.
In another case, NorCo CYS had taken custody of our client’s grandchildren and refused to release the children to her. We successfully sued Northampton County Children & Youth for child custody and were granted sole custody by the court.
Childrens’ mother thwarted Client’s attempts to reunify with his two daughters at every turn. Through progressive litigation, we were able to obtain a child custody order granting Client 50/50 custody. The children’s mother refused to abide by the order and was eventually incarcerated for interefering with a child custody order. Father, our client, was granted sole custody.
Children & Youth Services of Northampton County took custody of our client’s grandchildren and refused to release the children to him. We successfully sued Northampton County CYS for child custody and were granted sole custody by the court.
Client/Mother had primary custody of children and sought to relocate for better employment opportunities and reduced cost of living. Father contested the relocation but relocation was eventually granted after a trial.
In most case, when a Grandchild has Children & Youth Services involved in their lives, a Grandparent may sue for full custody of the Grandchild. This type of situation is handled differently by different counties in Pennsylvania., some counties require a filing in Custody Court while others require a filing in Juvenile Court. Our office recommends filing in both Custody Court and Juvenile Court regardless any particular county’s standard practice.
Even if Children & Youth Services is not involved, if a parent is incapable of meeting the minimum standards of parenting, the Custody Courts will allow Grandparents to step in and take full custody of a Grandchild.
When a grandchild has lived with Grandparents for one year or more, Grandparents have the ability to sue for full custody so long as Grandparents do so within six months of the Grandchild living with them.
We have successfully represented Grandparents in all types of Custody Cases. We have achieved full and complete custody for Grandparents who previous did not have visitation and we have fended off attempts to remove Grandparents from Custody Orders. We were the first attorneys to successfully sue Northampton County Children & Youth on behalf of Grandparents and to win custody for our clients.
Yes, Grandparents can sue for Custody in Pennsylvania and our Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys in Easton, Pennsylvania have been very successful in asserting Grandparents’ Rights in the Lehigh Valley.
Grandparents enjoy special standing and recognition in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania, in general. Grandparents’ Rights include the right to sue for Child Custody under 23 Pa.C.S.A. 5324 & 23 Pa.C.S.A. 5325, in a number of circumstances and also have the rights to child support if awarded custody.
Contact our Easton Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys immediately if you live in Lehigh, Northampton or Monroe County.
There are two specific statutes that allow Grandparents to seek Child Custody in Easton, Pennsylvania:
23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5324. Standing for any form of physical custody or legal custody.
The following individuals may file an action under this chapter for any form of physical custody or legal custody:
(1) A parent of the child.
(2) A person who stands in loco parentis to the child.
(3) A grandparent of the child who is not in loco parentis to the child:
(i) whose relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order;
(ii) who assumes or is willing to assume responsibility for the child; and
(iii) when one of the following conditions is met:
(A) the child has been determined to be a dependent child under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters);
(B) the child is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or incapacity; or
(C) the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, in which case the action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.
(4) Subject to paragraph (5), an individual who establishes by clear and convincing evidence all of the following:
(i) The individual has assumed or is willing to assume responsibility for the child.
(ii) The individual has a sustained, substantial and sincere interest in the welfare of the child. In determining whether the individual meets the requirements of this subparagraph, the court may consider, among other factors, the nature, quality, extent and length of the involvement by the individual in the child’s life.
(iii) Neither parent has any form of care and control of the child.
(5) Paragraph (4) shall not apply if:
(i) a dependency proceeding involving the child has been initiated or is ongoing; or
(ii) there is an order of permanent legal custody under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6351(a)(2.1) or (f.1)(3) (relating to disposition of dependent child).
23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5325. Standing for partial physical custody and supervised physical custody.
In addition to situations set forth in section 5324 (relating to standing for any form of physical custody or legal custody), grandparents and great-grandparents may file an action under this chapter for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody in the following situations:
(1) 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 relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order and where the parents of the child:
(i) have commenced a proceeding for custody; and
(ii) do not agree as to whether the grandparents or great-grandparents should have custody under this section; 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.