Cohen Family Law Firm

Do Grandparents Have Any Rights In A Child Custody Case?

Sometimes grandparents have rights in child custody cases. Grandparents’ rights, were clarified in the update of the Pennsylvania Child Support Law. There are cases where grandparents will have standing to file for or request a custody and typically that is when they have acted at some point during the child’s life as in loco parentis, which essentially means in the shoes of the parent. In these cases, the grandparents have usually spent time as a caregiver for a child or all lived under the same roof. That’s the most common scenario where grandparents would have standing and would have some rights to file or request some custody from the court.

What Are The Common Issues That You Face In Child Custody Matters?

The most common issue that I face in child custody matters is that the two parents just don’t get along. It’s hard because there are a lot of emotions caught up between the two parents and I, as well as the courts are always trying to come at it from the perspective of what is in the best interest of the child. So you always hope that your client is able to see past some of the emotional anger that they have for the other parent. I always try to help them see the wisdom of trying to work out an agreement with the other parent and having a custody order by agreement instead of a full-blown custody battle. Of course, that doesn’t always happen.

How Long Do Generally Custody Cases Take To Be Resolved?

The length of time it takes to settle a child custody case really depends on the parties themselves. Some are resolved very amicably and quickly. Then I have clients where one party or the other is filing a motion to change something every so often, which can obviously drag the process out. Under normal circumstances, either parent can always file with the court to change or modify an existing custody order. So a realistic timeframe, if you are going to not be in agreement and you need a custody order from a judge, then you could be looking at around 9 months to a year to have everything resolved.

Will My Child Ever Need To Appear In Court For Any Reason?

In Philadelphia, children are required to be present at any proceeding in front of the judge. Whether they will testify, speak with the judge in chambers, or they just sit in the waiting room, depends on their age and the individual factors of the case. Most of the time if the children are going to offer testimony to a judge, it’s done with the judge in chambers and typically both lawyers for the parents will waive their right to be in chambers with the judge so that the judge can sit and talk to the child alone. Then the judge will determine what the child has to say and if the child has been coached or if the child’s been truthful, etc.

How Often Do People Request For A Modification Of A Custody Arrangement?

People request modifications of custody arrangements every day. I get calls from people who have either filed for a modification or a modification has been filed and they have a hearing coming up. It happens very often.

What Is Needed For A Modification Of Custody Arrangement?

If there is an existing custody order, then the petition to modify that order needs to be filed with the court. That will generate a hearing date and will start the process of the modification. If there is no custody order, then a complaint for custody would need to be filed and that would initiate a custody case, which would be scheduled for a hearing as well.

Why Should Someone Retain An Experienced Attorney For A Child Custody Case?

One good reason to retain an experiences family law attorney for a child custody case is that if the other party has a lawyer, you don’t want to go in there unrepresented when the other party is represented. The other advantage is that you are basically maximizing the chances of getting the best result. The lawyers know the law, they know how best to present the case and what not to present, and the areas to look out for to emphasize. It’s not impossible for someone to go and do it themselves, but very often I have clients come to me after they have done that and then they realize that perhaps it would have been wiser to go with legal counsel in the first place.

For more information on Grandparent Rights In A Child Custody Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (267) 238-3841 today.

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