Unfortunately, some divorce cases can be messy, especially when it comes to determining custody of children. Whether it is due to a temporary hardship or other factors, such as drug use, there are times where neither parent is suitable to have custody of their children.

If you are a grandparent, you may wonder if you can win custody of your grandchild in these situations. Keep reading for more information on custody laws regarding grandparents.

Pennsylvania laws regarding custody

While this is not available in all states, Pennsylvania does allow grandparents to obtain custody of their grandchildren. According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly website, there are certain factors that the court will consider when making this decision.

  • How much contact you have with your grandchild
  • If this ruling interferes with the relationship between the parent and the child
  • If this ruling is in the best interest of the child

Appropriate situations for grandparental custody

In most cases, a judge will not typically award custody directly to a grandparent without good reason. If the child’s safety is a concern, this would be a good reason to award custody to you instead of the parents. The courts take a child’s stability seriously and consider the circumstances of their home life when awarding custody. Here are some situations where awarding you custody of your grandchild would be appropriate.

  • Both parents are mostly absent from the child’s life
  • Both parents abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Both parents are not suited to take care of the child’s emotional or physical wellbeing
  • Your grandchild would prefer to live with you instead of either parent