Although Pennsylvania law gives precedence to parental relationships in child custody and visitation determinations, relatives do not necessarily need to be left in the cold. Increasingly, the state’s laws, and its courts, are recognizing the value that extended family members can bring to the lives of children.
At Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we understand the value of healthy family relationships and the benefits those relationships can yield to both children and adults. We know that strong bonds can make for better lives.
To that end, our experienced family lawyers represent grandparents, relatives and others with strong interests in the welfare of children to obtain appropriate custody and visitation arrangements. We also assist clients who seek to adopt child relatives.
Allegheny County Grandparents’ Custody Rights Attorneys
We can help in situations including:
- Parental death. When a parent dies or becomes incapacitated, a child loses not only a caregiver but also a part of his or her identity. We help surviving relatives to maintain access to children, even when surviving spouses refuse to cooperate.
- Divorce or separation. When parents divorce, grandparents and close relatives of the children may be left out of the picture. If you lose your access to a grandchild, we can petition the courts for visitation rights.
- Abuse, neglect and endangerment. If a parent’s mental illness or addiction has put your grandchild or close relative in harm’s way, you may be able to receive full or partial custody for the child, particularly if you have already been providing care.
- Forced removal. Some parents have reasons for leaving children in the care of grandparents or other relatives for extended periods — military deployment, work obligations, incarceration, and substance abuse are a few of the reasons. Handing a child back to a parent after a long absence can be stressful and upsetting, especially if the parent is not up to the task. We can help you ensure the child’s best interests are observed when an absent parent reappears and attempts to reassert himself or herself in the child’s life.
Your Allies In Pennsylvania Custody Law | Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby
We believe that all children deserve love, guidance and support. To learn more about how our experienced Pittsburgh grandparents’ rights attorneys can assist you, contact Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby online, or by calling our office at 412-261-4040.