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grandmother visitation rights Pennsylvania

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  • grandmother visitation rights Pennsylvania

    This forum has helped me so much in the past, and now that one threat has disappeared, another has reared it's ugly head. My husband and I have two children, one is his stepdaughetr, the other his, both are mine. The biological father has no formal/legal rights to my eldest. My mother lives in NY, we are in PA, and she may take us to court for visitation of the girls. My mother is insane (to put it mildly); she is emotionally unstable, emotionally abusive, and very neglectful. The last time that she saw the girls, she was in the back seat of our car screaming and cursing in front of them, and she traumatized them. Neither one is old enough or capable enough to voice their opinion about her, but, if they could, they would opt out of seeing her. She will probably take us to court for visitation or something, and she has the financial means to hire the best lawyer possible, where we could get an average one. What are the visitation laws for grandparents if both parents agree that this woman should not be in the children's lives the way that she is now?

  • #2
    Well, unfortunately for you, you are in two states that recognize LIBERAL grandparental visitation and custody rights. If your mother (?) is willing to do this, you need to get the best attorney you can. You also need proof of her instability and abusiveness to give the court a solid reason to deny her petition. If she is awarded visitation, you need to try to get it supervised. Sorry.
    Last edited by mommyof4; 06-12-2006, 03:34 PM.
    HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)

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    • #3
      Thanks so much; she is really crazy, but she can hide it well and appear very professional, but it is all an act. She cannot control her emotions, even on medication. She is very inappropriate in front of the children, and I just wish that she would just go away before she traumatizes them again.

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      • #4
        If she does this, can you subpoena any medical records showing that she is being treated medically for her instability. Any police reports or criminal record? Also, any witnesses to her behavior around your children. She will also have to show that she has an intact, significant relationship with the children. Now, how a judge will decide how significant the time spent with the children is, is anybody's guess.
        HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
        How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
        (unique up on him)
        How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
        (same way)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mommyof4
          Well, unfortunately for you, you are in two states that recognize LIBERAL grandparental visitation and custody rights. If your mother (?) is willing to do this, you need to get the best attorney you can. You also need proof of her instability and abusiveness to give the court a solid reason to deny her petition. If she is awarded visitation, you need to try to get it supervised. Sorry.
          Even with the liberal laws, it is a difficult and expensive process for a gp to get court ordered visitation, especially with children that belong to THEIR child and children from an intact family. If the children are too young to voice an opinion, it would be difficult for grandma to claim they have an established, close relationship with her.

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          • #6
            One of my daughters has special needs, so she is somewhat unaware that her grandmother is demented, but the baby picked up on it immediately. In an ideal world, it would be great if all family members could be involved in a child's life, but she is just not well, and it just got to the point where I have to protect my children from her and her insanity. Even with us around, she cannot be trusted to act appropriately. Anyways, thanks again for your help!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ceara
              Even with the liberal laws, it is a difficult and expensive process for a gp to get court ordered visitation, especially with children that belong to THEIR child and children from an intact family. If the children are too young to voice an opinion, it would be difficult for grandma to claim they have an established, close relationship with her.
              Actually, in PA, there is current case law and statutes that allow for a grandparent to be granted custody or partial custody of a child even if the parents are fit to raise the child. I and another poster were discussing this yesterday on another thread. The PA suprememe court has not yet reviewed a case to determine if PA statutes for gp visitation rights are constitutional, but the PA superior court has held that they ARE. While the gps in this case will probably have a difficult time, she does need any evidence of why the grandmother is unfit to have access to her children and a good atty to deal with this. It is also not out of the realm of possibility that the gm could get visitation with the oldest child, as it is not the husband's child, but NOT be granted visitation with the bio child of the marriage. PA is kind of screwy.

              www.abanet.org/family/familylaw/tables.html

              www.divorcehq.com/articles/custodypenn.html
              Last edited by mommyof4; 06-13-2006, 08:30 AM.
              HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
              How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
              (unique up on him)
              How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
              (same way)

              Comment


              • #8
                another option- just throwing it out there even though it's an unlikely possibility, is to move (before gma files anything) to a state that does not favor gp rights so strongly, such as florida, then the cost of the court case and the resulting expenses that come of any possible visitation that MAY- unlikely- be ordered- might be prohibitive enough to put and end to the situation.
                http://www.gestaltmediation.com/

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                • #9
                  my mother is so controlling and overbearing to begin with, and she's relentless. at any rate, we'll see how it goes. if she does choose to pursue this, then we may have to find a way out of this b/c she can appear very normal for brief periods of time, and she just loves being in a courtroom (she loves to sue people, and she usually wins b/c she has the financial backing to get the best lawyers). we can't move b/c we just moved to pa in october and my older daughter's biological father seems ok with that (even though he's basically nonexistant in her life), but he would flip and begin court proceedings if we moved any farther away, and i can only handle on lawsuit at a time!

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                  • #10
                    ps. that's crazy about pa law for grandparents regarding custody! what's next? godparents? neighbors?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nobelprizemom
                      ps. that's crazy about pa law for grandparents regarding custody! what's next? godparents? neighbors?
                      So far, it hasn't been reviewed by the Supreme Court. It may not hold up. Until a decision is made one way or the other, many judges are reluctant to go along with the unproven case law because it may be overturned. Hopefully, you would not be in front of the same judge that created the case law to begin with.

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