Erie Grandparent / Third Party Custody Lawyer

In Pennsylvania, grandparents and third parties may have custody and visitations rights to the child that need protecting. There has been an expansion of these rights throughout the United States.

Certain requirements must be met in order for grandparents to obtain visitation or custody

Prior to recent changes in the law, grandparents had an automatic right to petition the Court for physical or legal custody of the child. Now a grandparent can file for custody only if they are acting as the parent with the parent’s consent or through court order, the grandparent has taken or will take responsibility for the child and then one of the final tests is met.

Not all of these tests need to be satisfied – just one. The child must either be dependent, at risk from the parent or for a period of 12 months the child lived with the grandparent. If the child is living with the grandparent and the parent removes the child, the grandparent must file for custody within 6 months of the removal.

For partial custody or visitation, a grandparent must live with the child for 12 months and meet two criteria. Provide proof that visitation with the grandparent would be in the best interest of the child and that the visitation to the grandparents would not interfere with the relationship between the parents and the child.

If a parent of the child dies or is disabled, applications can be made for custody as well and would require unique analysis. These same rules also apply to great-grandparents.


Attorney Parini was knowledgeable about the law and did a great job in working hard to help me with my problem. He was always available to answer my questions.

At MP2 Placidi & Parini, our attorneys are with you every step of the way. This starts at our first consultation.